Devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka was slowly being recovered from the remnants it left behind, only to meet a second wave of the global contagion.
But for Dilantha Malagamuwa, the Sri Lankan motor racing champion, the press was a one way ticket to jump on the bandwagon, as recent media reports claimed that he had won the second place of a world motor racing competition.
Some reports went on speculation that his 'victory' not only dignified the island nation but an ignition before the whole of Asia.
Despite the local reports' tendency to upbring Malagamuwa as a gem before the international eye, no international media report had ever mentioned his victory.
So, what was this international motor racing competition Malagamuwa is said to have competed?
It was the Europa Super Trofeo Motor Racing Tournament in Barcelona, Spain!
Only 17 motorists competed in the whole tournament. There were competitions in four groups, and Malagamuwa participated in the category AM CUP. Featuring two races in the category, Malagamuwa came third in one of them and second in the other.
At first look, it obviously is a victory, as he won the second place in a global competition.
The total number of racers competing the AM CUP category is three. Dilantha Malagamuwa is third in one race out of three racers. In other words, he was the last to complete the track. In the second race, Magamuwa managed to secure the second place, as one driver has forfeitted the match in the final round due to a techincal fault in his Lamborghini.
Malagamuwa ranked 14th out of the total number of competitors in the tournament. Only three other drivers are behind him. Malagamuwa does not speak of this, as this could jeopardize the image he has created before the country over what had actually happened. He goes on public record saying that he won the second place and the third place in a race where only three racers competed.
Malagamuwa might have gotten a free ride over the heads of simple minded Sri Lankans. But the truth is, he has not achieved anything at all in Super Trofeo Europe Barcelona.
This tournament is hardly addressed in the global audience bidding for motor racing. This can be confirmed by visiting the official website of Super Trofeo Europe Barcelona.
Despite the threat of the contagion, Malagamuwa managed to obtain a special approval from the Sri Lankan government to participate in this tournament. This was mainly because the European region had imposed restrictions for Sri Lankans to enter their border amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Political sources divulged on the condition of anonymity that Malagamuwa had requested Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa to provide state sponsorship for his participation in the tournament. This had been informed to the Prime Minsiter, after which Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had denied the request saying that 'frauds' like Malagamuwa shall never be provided state patronage, they revealed. The Prime Minister had also gone on saying never to bring back people like Malagamuwa at his doorstep again, sources further disclosed.
That being said, Dilantha Malagamuwa managed to decieve Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa, who is still a young politician, but not Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who, by experience, knows the difference between the honest and the deceitful too well.
Malagamuwa lived in Japan and Malaysia many years ago. As if one had fallen from the sky, he had appeared in Sri Lanka and embarked on a strange journey displaying the national flag in his motor car.
Malagamuwa did not come to Sri Lanka voluntarily, but was compelled to return to Sri Lanka out of options, experts in the motor racing field opined. Malagamuwa will not be able to fly back to Japan and Malaysia, given the mischiefs he had committed within the countries, they added.
Malagamuwa continued to brand himself with the image of the Sri Lankan flag, competing races in foreign countries which Sri Lanka had never heard of, and declaring himself as a winner in matches where only two-or-three players maximum participated. Whether he was the last to complete a track would be irrelevant, because he was always a 'winner' before the eye of Sri Lanka. The actual numbers are never revealed, nor are we, the Sri Lankans, wish to search for them.
This game is being played by many Sri Lankan athletes, artists and even advocates for justice, who claim to have won an international audience and a title. They continue to claim that they can break a leg winning the goodwill for the island nation, only to further deceive the public by burying the truth. Malagamuwa may have found this opportunity to pour some glasses of champagne, but we, the observant, wish to say that he found nothing, but rotten luck.