Sunday, December 10, 2023

Commonwealth Games: 10 Sri Lankans go missing in UK’s Birmingham

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Commonwealth Games: A Sri Lankan official said on Sunday that nine athletes and a management from the Sri Lankan Commonwealth contingent had gone missing after concluding their events.

Three of them — judoka Chamila Dilani, her manager Asela de Silva, and wrestler Shanith Chathuranga — had disappeared last week.

That prompted the Sri Lankan officials to file a police complaint.

Another seven have vanished since then, the official reported, without identifying them.

“We suspect they want to remain in the UK, possibly to get employment,” official said.

Sri Lankan management had held the passports of the 160 member contingent to ensure their return to home but they failed to deter few members from leaving.

The first three people who went missing were found by British police, but because they had not broken any laws and had valid passports for six months, no action was taken, according to a Sri Lankan official.

“In reality, the police convinced us to surrender the passports we were keeping as a deterrence to defections,” the official claimed.

“The cops haven’t told us where they are.”

This is not the first time that Sri Lankan competitors have gone AWOL from international competitions. There have been similar reoccurring events in the past.

Last October, during a world championship event in Oslo, Sri Lanka’s wrestling manager abandoned his team and vanished.

Two Sri Lankan athletes fled the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea and were never discovered.

Also Read: Commonwealth Games 2022: Three Golds in wrestling

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