By Duncan Mackay

There will be two candidates to replace Hemasiri Fernando as President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka ©Sri Lanka NOCNovember 23 - There will be two candidates to replace Hemasiri Fernando as President of the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka in an election already marred by controversy.

Fernando, former secretary to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, is stepping down having held the position since 1996.

Dilan Perera, a member of Sri Lanka's Parliament and President of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation, will take on Rohan Fernando, head of the country's rowing federation, to replace him at the election on December 27. 

But the election is set to be watched closely by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who earlier this week warned that they would not counter the Government interfering in the running of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), including the election.

There is anger within Sri Lanka that Fernando had written to the IOC complaining about the Government's National Sports Law.

Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage has claimed that Fernando's decision to condemn the Law, which has been in effect since 1973, has been criticised by the 24 National Federations affiliated to the NOC. 

A total of 23 candidates have put themselves forward for the six different positions, including six for the vice-president and four for the treasurer.

Among the three candidates for the role of secretary general is Maxwell de Silva, who has held the position since 2006.

He is being challenged by Akhry Ameer, of the Sri Lanka Aquatics Sports Union, and H.U. Silva, of the Sri Lanka Archery Association.

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