Past SLC presidents call for interim committee

Saturday, 30 June 2018 04:12 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Madushka Balasuriya

A group of past presidents and administrators from Sri Lanka Cricket have signed a letter calling on Sports Minister Faiszer Musthapha to appoint an interim committee to take-over affairs at SLC. They also urge the Minister to streamline the election process and amend the SLC constitution to address what they describe as the “rampant abuse of power” by former SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala and his Executive Committee.

“We appeal to your good self to appoint an interim committee to look into all these misdeeds, and to streamline the Election process with necessary amendments to the Constitution of Sri Lanka Cricket to prevent the rampant abuse of power as practiced by the incumbent administration, leaving no room for such brazen acts to be repeated in the future,” reads the letter addressed to Musthapha, and signed by Jayantha Dharmadasa, Upali Dharmadasa, Rienzie Wijetilleke, Sidath Wettimuny, Hemaka Amarasuriya, Ana Punchihewa, Arjuna Ranatunga and Vijaya Malalasekera.

As elections have been postponed indefinitely by way of a stay order issued by the Court of Appeal, it is unclear when Musthapha will be able to call fresh elections. As such, SLC have been under the control of a Competent Authority - headed by Sports Ministry Secretary Kamal Padmasiri - since 1 June. With Musthapha also a vocal opponent of interim committees being brought in to replace democratically elected bodies, it is highly unlikely he will appoint one now.

However, it will be intriguing to see what action, if any, he takes over the allegations made in the letter, which, though unsubstantiated, certainly warrant further investigation. If he does investigate, it will be a first of sorts, with most of the allegations having made their way into the public sphere at some point or another in the recent past only to be swiftly swept under the carpet.

The allegations themselves range from instances of financial irregularities, improper accounting practices, misappropriation of funds and excesses in expenditure, to others which are more tenuous. The letter also purports to blame the Sumathipala-led administration for Sri Lanka’s dismal form over the last two years.