Fijian Jimmy Bolakoro overstays his visa
RUGBY: Can Fijian national Jimmy Bolakoro represent CH & FC in the
forthcoming Caltex 'A' Division League Rugby Championship which kicks
off on Friday (May 18)?
This all depends not only on the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU),
but also the Immigration and Emigration Department as well as the Sri
Lanka Police Department.
Bolakoro has been in the country now for the past three years and
according to the International Rugby Board (IRB) rules and regulations,
qualified to play for the country he has been a resident for three
However, according to the President of the SLRFU, DIG Nimal Lewke,
who also heads the elite Special Task Force (STF) of the Police, whether
the IRB rule is applicable to Sri Lanka is entirely a matter for the
SLRFU to decide.
DIG Lewke further told the Sunday Observer that the Fijian, Jimmy
Bolakoro, cannot stay any longer in Sri Lanka as his visa had expired on
May 7, and that he is now staying in the country illegally.
Continuing, Lewke, further said that at the last Council meeting of
the SLRFU, CH & FC's representative raised the question of Bolakoro's
inclusion in the national side, but it was pointed out that the Fijian
has not played any rugby for several years and that the request cannot
be considered, as the national pool was picked on the performances of
players during the 2006 season.
Furthermore, the SLRFU President, DIG Lewke, also turned down a
request for a letter to the Immigration and Emigration Department
recommending Bolakoro's extension of visa and wanted the Fijian to
obtain a clearance certificate from the Police Department. Lewke said:
"I cannot blindly issue letters to any individual as I am a senior
Police official, not only President of the SLRFU".
Jimmy Bolakoro was involved in two court cases. First was when he was
alleged to have committed rape on a foreign woman at a resort down south
and then found in possession of illegal ammunition and firearms in the
ceiling of his apartment in the heart of Colombo 7.
It will be recalled that Bolakoro represented CH & FC in 2003 under
Milinda Jayasinghe which team also included three other foreign recruits
in Kinijoji Rakata, Fred Moo and Alex Talia. He was also a member of the
CH team in 2004 under Sameera Wijesinghe, which side also included three
other foreigners in Rakata, Kala and Noa Nawaqarua.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, who lost both games in the Asian Nations Cup
very badly to Arabian Gulf (11-52) and Kazakhstan (6-71), will face a
Committee to be appointed by the Council of the SLRFU as soon as the
manager's reports are received.
DIG Lewke said that the reports will be discussed at the next SLRFU
Council meeting, but the "facts are stubborn". The national pool never
had a proper training schedule since the 2006 tournaments. The national
pool must train throughout the year like other countries who have a
programme for at least three years.
"The Committee to be appointed will comprise a Council member,
Chairman of the Selection Committee, National Coach and a couple of
senior officials who will look into the performances of the Sri Lanka
team in the two Asian Nation Cup games and also ways on how to get into
the next level" said DIG Lewke.