National Olympic Committee of SL rebuts Rohan Fernando

Friday, 19 January 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Right of Reply


The National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka Secretary General Maxwell de Silva has sent the following clarification of the Daily FT article titled ‘Rohan Fernando set to run on anti-corruption platform’ published on Wednesday, 17 January 2018.

I am surprised to note that your esteemed newspaper has given one-sided exposure and publicity to the defamatory comments made by Mr. Rohan Fernando of the Rowing Federation in his press statement titled 'Rohan Fernando set to run on anti-corruption platform' on 17th January 2018.

The defamatory statement made by Mr. Rohan Fernando is as follows: "The thing is if you are not open, if you are not accountable, if you are going with the rogues, you might get into a bigger mess because people will not support you.”

This statement clearly refers to the current top management of the NOCSL and will fully confuse the readers as to what has really happened with regards to the NOCSL Accounts during the period from 2011-2017.

Since the year 2007, NOCSL annual accounts are being audited by none other than the Auditor General and six final audit reports with opinion for the period from 2007-2012 already have been received. Despite having a few procedural lapses, NOCSL annual accounts have been duly approved. The copies of such reports have already been submitted to the Ministry of Sports. The draft annual accounts for the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 are currently being examined by the Auditor General and final reports with opinion are expected shortly.

On behalf of the management of NOCSL, I have no hesitation whatsoever in assuring all those who are concerned about accountability, transparency and good governance that NOCSL accounts are absolutely clear except for a few administrative and procedural errors. There is no meaning in discussing this subject prematurely, and I will be ready to answer all allegations levelled against the NOCSL accounts when the final audit reports with the Auditor General's opinion are available shortly. Besides, such audited accounts will be available for all members of the NOCSL no sooner the NOCSL received them.

Amidst all these vicious allegations against the NOCSL about fraudulent accounts, which are deliberately designed to confuse the general public and bring discredit to the current top management of the NOCSL, I have something very interesting to present.

Mr. Rohan Fernando, who is the main critic of the NOCSL accounting systems, has conveniently forgotten the fact that he headed the Finance and Management Committee for six years since December 2010. He has chaired all the finance committee meetings of the said committee. He was actively engaged in the above committee until 2017 and even claimed that he is the Chairman of the de-facto Finance Committee currently.

Why is he only now talking about the fraudulent accounts of the NOCSL? What was he doing all this time in his capacity as the Chairman of the Finance Committee?

The President NOCSL, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando, in my opinion made a significant error by appointing Mr. Rohan Fernando as the Chairman of the Finance and Management Committee in 2010 without carefully checking his qualifications and credentials.

I wish Mr. Rohan Fernando good luck to remain the Chairman of his own de-facto committee forever.