Sports Minister scraps SLC Interim Committee, writes to ICC on audit report
Posted on December 12th, 2023

Courtesy Adaderana

Minister of Sports Harin Fernando on Tuesday (Dec.12) signed a new gazette notification to revoke the decision appointing an Interim Committee for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the national governing body of the sport.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the lawmaker said the move is an effort to lift the suspension imposed by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) on SLC.

Fernando says he has also written to the ICC, seeking their observations on the Auditor General’s report on the national cricket body, and to the Attorney General’s Department for future actions.

On Nov.06, a seven-member Interim Committee was appointed by the then-Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe. It was chaired by World Cup-winning former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga and consisted of 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.

The following day, the Appeals Court issued a 14-day stay order on the Interim Committee. The relevant order was issued by a two-member judge bench consisting of Appeals Court President Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Vikum Kaluarachchi, upon consideration of the writ application filed by the SLC President Shammi Silva challenging the move.

Later, on Nov.13, then Sports Minister Ranasinghe filed a motion requesting the lifting of the stay order.

Nevertheless, on Nov.27, President Ranil Wickremesinghe removed SLPP parliamentarian Ranasinghe from all his positions including as the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Minister of Irrigation.

Harin Fernando, who was serving as the Minister of Tourism, was subsequently sworn in as the new Minister of Sports to replace Ranasinghe.

On Dec.05, Fernando gave an undertaking before the Appeals Court, pledging that no further action would be taken in respect of the Gazette notification issued by his predecessor.

Against this backdrop, the SLC decided to establish an independent committee to inquire into audit reports, and make recommendations to ensure the prevention of corruption. The panel comprises Retired Supreme Court Judges S. I. Imam and Rohini Marasinghe and Retired High Court Judge Irangani Perera.

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