Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge (R) with his predecessor Jeewan Kumaratunga, who was named Minister of Land and Land Development in the Cabinet reshuffle effected by President Mahinda Rajapakse.
`I believe that these associations should be run by democratically elected people and not by politically appointed interim committees. So I need to study the factors which have led to these political appointments first and then take necessary steps to restore democracy,` the Minister said hours after assuming duties as Minister of Sports and Recreation.
A number of sports associations, including Sri Lanka Cricket are run by politically appointed interim committees due to various reasons ranging from alleged fraud charges to political bickering.
The Minister said that he would not interfere in Sri Lanka Cricket administration under the present circumstances as the World Cup is near at hand.
`I will not burn my figures right way. But I will study the situation, discuss the matter with the people concerned and take appropriate actions,` he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister also said that apart from restoring democracy in national sports associations, he has set his sights on grooming youngsters to take on future challenges.
`We do not have a back up plan and I am very serious about bringing in youngsters. We must have a second and third string of players to replace the aging seniors,` he added.
He said a need for a national sports policy too is an urgent requirement to address these issues.
`We do need a national policy and within that a policy for each and every sport. I will be looking at them at large,` he further said.
Lokuge succeeded Jeewan Kumaratunga as the eighth Sports Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka while Bandula Basnayake, the non-cabinet Sports Minister too assumed duties yesterday.