Minister’s corruption jibe taken to court
Club cricket official challenges Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim existence and sports minister C. B. Ratnayake’s U-turn
A club cricket official has decided to take controversial sports minister C. B. Ratnayake to court for declaring the Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket the most corrupt in the country and then turning a blind eye to the changes he pledged to make at a maiden appearance in front of the local and foreign media in June this year.
The petitioner Asoka Mendis of the United Southern Cricket club which has membership at Sri Lanka Cricket, has brought it to the notice of court that Minister Ratnayake instead of changing the Interim Committee which he declared as corrupt, had appointed a fresh Interim Committee by Gazette notification three days later and retained D. S. de Silva and Nishantha Ranatunga as president and secretary respectively.
The case is to be taken up tomorrow in the Supreme Court.
Minister Ratnayake in what was his maiden media conference declared that Sri Lanka Cricket was the most corrupt institution in the country along with the Police and Educational Departments. His declaration was given extensive coverage in both the local and foreign media as well as in the world famous Cricketer International magazine considered the most credible cricket magazine.
Ratnayake has also been cited by Mendis as being responsible for the continued existence of the Interim Committee which he says is a violation of his fundamental rights and prevented the conduct of a democratic election of office bearers thereby violating the fundamental rights and privileges of cricket playing clubs in the country to elect a responsible set of office bearers.
“Due to the misconduct, malpractices and irregularities perpetrated especially by the current Interim Committee and the deliberation of the 9th Respondent (Minister Ratnayake) not to call for fresh elections to appoint office-bearers, the Petitioner’s rights have been seriously violated and continue to be infringed”, Mendis has stated in his petition.
Citing what he called were numerous malpractices, the petitioner has charged that a recent tie-up by Sri Lanka Cricket with a foreign event management company called Somerset Entertainment Ventures (Singapore) marked a violation of tender procedures in which no newspaper advertisements were placed or sealed bids received.
Somerset Entertainments eventually bought the marketing rights of the elite teams in the country that will play in three inter-provincial tournaments for five years.