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Monday, April 03, 2006

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Rudra Rajasingham, pioneer of Police rugby
By Bernie Wijesekera
The passing away of Rudra Rajasingham the ex-rugby star and retired Inspector General of Police has taken away from us a finest officer and a gentleman. The likes of him will be hard to find in the present day society plagued with hatred and jealousy. He was an officer who never mixed politics with sport or went behind politicians.

A Trinity ‘Lion’ in rugby Rudra played for the CR and FC with the likes of Summa Navaratnam, Malcom Wright, Geoff Weinman, William Molegoda and the rest. He was the President of the CR and FC, Police SC and later ended up as President of the Sri Lanka Rugby Union. He held the scales even and maintained a code of ethics for all to adhere.

Discipline was his codeword among players or otherwise. He played for the CR and FC, despite being in the Police. It was Rajasingham who sowed the seeds for the Police to scrum down with the elite clubs. In that era there were no players from the elite rugby playing schools. But with the likes of ‘rock’ Banda, Linton, Chandradasa, Buddhadasa and Bandula Wijesinghe showing care was an important part of his life with human qualities. He never misused his position among his rank and file.

I was fortunate and had a close understanding with genial Rudra. He had a coterie of friends even after retirement in the likes of the late Kavan Rambukkwella, Eddie Gray, Summa Navaratnam, and Mahes Rodrigo (CR and FC).

Despite the years rolling by he still had the time to watch a match whenever Police and the red shirts scrummed downed. Rudra always insisted that his subordinates maintained the dignity of the service.

He led a simple life until his last breath. The large gathering from all walks of life at the final farewell was an ample testimony to his integrity.

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