Sports Minister says President asked him to scrap SLC Interim Committee

Sports Minister says President asked him to scrap SLC Interim Committee

November 7, 2023   03:57 pm

Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe says President Ranil Wickremesinghe asked him to call off the Interim Committee appointed for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), soon after the conclusion of the Cabinet meeting on Monday (Nov. 06).

Speaking on the matter during the parliamentary session today, the lawmaker said the President had cautioned him that the Sports Law would be put under his purview unless the appointed Interim Committee is revoked.

“I told [him] to remove me [from my ministerial post] and to take any decision at his discretion. I said I would not under any circumstances call off the appointed [Interim] Committee.

Ranasinghe also branded the board members of SLC as a ‘band of thieves’ involved in multiple acts of misconduct.

The sports minister also took issue with the Attorney General and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for failing to take due action despite two months having elapsed since the Auditor General Department released a special report exposing the misconduct on the part of cricket board officials.

Ranasinghe’s comments came after the Appeals Court issued stay orders on the Interim Committee and the special gazette notification issued in this regard. A two-member judge bench delivered the order after taking into account a writ petition filed by SLC chairman Shammi Silva.

The Appeals Court has given three stay orders in total pertaining to the matter: the first to prevent the gazette issued by the Sports Minister appointing the interim committee for the SLC, the second to prevent the Interim Committee members from acting in their respective positions and the third to prevent the respondents including the sports minister from interfering the activities of the petitioner and the other officials of the cricket board.

By way of a special gazette notification, the sports minister on Monday (06) appointed a seven-member Interim Committee for Sri Lanka Cricket, chaired by World Cup-winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga, under the powers vested with him via the Sports Law No 25 of 1973. The previous SLC board was also suspended through this communiqué.

The interim committee consists of the following members: S. I. Imam, Retired Supreme Court Judge; Rohini Marasinghe, Retired Supreme Court Judge; Irangani Perera, Retired High Court Judge; Arjuna Ranatunga (Chairman); Upali Dharmadasa; Rakitha Rajapakshe, Attorney-at-Law; and Hisham Jamaldeen.

As the President had not been informed of the appointment of the said Interim Committee and its composition, the matter was taken up for discussion at the meeting of Cabinet Ministers convened on Monday evening.

During the meeting, it was decided that a Cabinet sub-committee be appointed on the consent of the Sports Minister and the President, under the chairmanship of Minister Ali Sabry and consisting of Ministers Tiran Alles, Manusha Nanayakkara and Kanchana Wijesekera.

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