KATHMANDU, Aug 12: Rukma Samsher Rana-led Nepal Olympic Committee (NOC) held an extra-ordinary general assembly on Saturday and announced it would cooperate with National Sports Council (NSC).
Rana-led NOC, which was reinstated by the Supreme Court in November 4, 2010, has been gearing up to strengthen its organization after National Sports Council (NSC) received a direction from the Verdict Execution Directorate of the Supreme Court last week and vowed to support the Rana-led NOC.
Two different NOCs -- one led by Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan and other by Rana -- have been staking their claim for a few years and the Supreme Court had decided to recognize the Rana-led committee while International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been recognizing Pradhan committee.
The general assembly on Saturday requested NSC to execute Supreme Court verdict and help the Rana-led NOC to use all the properties of NOC, currently being used by Pradhan-led committee.
The assembly assigned Rana to coordinate for establishing relations with IOC and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
On Friday, IOC´s National Olympic Committee Relation Chief Jerome Poivey said that there is only one NOC recognized by the IOC and that is non other than the one led by Pradhan.
Meanwhile, the general assembly on Saturday passed a resolution that the NOC would announce a date for electoral general assembly if the seven national sports associations, which were dissolved by then NSC Member Secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha is reinstated. Rana-led NOC has been alleging Shrestha, currently general secretary of Pradhan-led committee, of dissolving national associations like All Nepal Table Tennis Association, Nepal Badminton Association, Nepal Handball Association and Nepal Weightlifting Association to make his way to NOC.
Earlier, NSC Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama in his inaugural speech had said that holding new election with the participation of all the national associations of Olympic sports could be the only way to resolve current controversy.
Lama alleged Pradhan-led NOC of defining Olympic Charter in a wrong way. "Whenever we take initiation to resolve controversy, they start talking about Olympic Charter. The Olympic Charter demands periodic election of all associations but Pradhan-led NOC has been violating it for few votes. Shouldn´t they follow Olympic Charter?" questioned Lama.
He said that Pradhan-led NOC should stop challenging government and laws of land in the name of international affiliation. "If they don´t respect the law of land, where would they run their office? Will they run office in Raxaul or Lhasa?" challenged Lama.
Ready to talk with Pradhan-led NOC
However, Member Secretary Lama said that NSC would hold a meeting with Pradhan-led committee right after its President Pradhan and General Secretary Shrestha return from London Olympics. "We are ready to talk with them for solving the controversy," said Lama.
Rukma Samsher Rana, president of the reinstated committee, said that he wants to end the controversy and ready to make sacrifices from his side. "I´m ready to talk with the other committee and make sacrifices from my side but it should be from both the sides," said Rana to Republica.
However, Rana-led NOC´s Treasurer Purushottam Lal Shrestha said that they would sit for talk with Pradhan only as the representative of IOC and OCA but not as a president of the other NOC body.
Olympic rings were covered
Though Rana-led committee has been claiming to be the only NOC body in the country, they did not use Olympic rings in their logo during the general assembly. They have removed the rings from the banner with remover.
IOC says only the committee that is recognized by the international body can use the rings and the name.
"We can´t ignore IOC and its statement. Meanwhile, Pradhan-led NOC cannot not ignore the Supreme Court verdict. If we sit for a talk, we have to find a middle ground to solve the controversy," said Rana.
The NOC-controversy has ignited polarization in Nepali sports and factionalism within national sports associations.
President and officials of Nepal Taekwondo Association, Nepal Weightlifting Association and Nepal Shooting Association took part in the general assembly. Likewise, a faction each from Nepal Boxing Association, Nepal Table Tennis Association and Nepal Hockey Association were also present at the general assembly though their presidents are holding positions in Pradhan-led NOC.