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COPE instructs that legal action should be taken against SLC’s top brass



by Saman Indrajith

Parliamentary watchdog committee –COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) has issued instructions to the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports Anuradha Wijekoon to take legal action against the former members of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Executive Committee and its CEO Ashley de Silva, parliament sources said yesterday.

COPE Chairman Prof Charitha Herath instructed Sports Ministry Secretary Wijekoon to obtain the assistance of Attorney General Dappula De Livera to institute legal action against the former SLC exco members.

The instructions had been issued following a COPE investigation on SLC held at the Parliamentary complex on Tuesday.

The COPE probe was for the purpose of examining the Auditor General’s report for the financial years 2017 and 2018 of SLC and its current performance.

Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister D.V Chanaka, MPs Patali Champika Ranawaka, Eran Wickramaratne, S.M Marikkar, Nalin Bandara, Premanath C. Dolawatta and S. Rasamanikkam were present at the inquiry.

The probe found that that 123 out of the 162 approved cadres of Sri Lanka Cricket were on contract, which was a matter of serious concern. The Committee also pointed out that the posts of Head of Finance, Legal Officer, Information Technology Officer and Internal Auditor should be permanent positions.

COPE recommended that the procurement process of Sri Lanka Cricket be streamlined and that a proper system be introduced.

COPE was of the view that the intervention of the Director General of Sports should be at a higher level than at present.

It also recommended that Sri Lanka Cricket should develop a proper format for disbursing funds to sports associations.

COPE directed the Ministry of Sports and Sri Lanka Cricket to see that the Sports Act is amended expeditiously.

COPE chairman Prof. Charitha Herath pointed out that the reason for the massive collapse of cricket in the country was not the fault of the players but the weaknesses of the cricket administration.

When COPE questioned the non-recovery of Rs. 29 million in revenue due for sponsorship of the South Africa-Sri Lanka Cricket tour in 2018, the Chief Executive Officer of SLC Ashley de Silva informed the committee that the CID had commenced an investigation into the matter. It was revealed at that the money had been deposited in a bank account in the USA named ‘Diamond Channel’ and that the investigations were focused on how it happened.

Prof. Herath instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports Anuradha Wijekoon to conduct an inquiry in this regard and submit the report to the Committee within three months.

It was also revealed at the meeting that Rs. 30 million had been spent to institute legal action against former head coach of Sri Lanka Cricket Chandika Hathurusinghe pertaining to the shortcomings of his agreement .

Attention was drawn to the fact that Rs. 132 million had been spent for the construction of a National Cricket Stadium and a Multi-Sports Complex in the Hingurakgoda area in Polonnaruwa, but that a title deed had not been obtained for the relevant land as yet. COPE directed the Ministry of Sports to take immediate action to resolve the issue.

COPE also paid special attention to the continuation of construction advances of Rs. 7,764,050 given to the Cricket Associations in the years 2007, 2008, 2016 and 2017 and match advances of Rs.10,292,337 paid from 2015 to 2019 without settlement.

COPE was of the view that a number of such issues have arisen in SLC due to the non-implementation of the Procurement Guidelines and that the institution should operate within an accepted framework.

Officials from the Ministry of Sports as well as officials from Sri Lanka Cricket were present at the meeting. Several former officials of the SLC Executive Committee were present at the Parliament premises to attend the meeting but were not allowed to attend due to the expiration of their tenure on the previous day.


Track and field action from Diyagama



Olympian Sumedha Ranasinghe was the winner of the men’s javelin throw as he cleared a distance of 78.31 metres.

The Track and Field season commenced with some of the best athletes in the senior and Under 20 age categories producing notable performances during the two-day Junior and Senior Selection Trial concluded at Diyagama on Tuesday. Here are some action pictures from the day two of the event.

(Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

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Dharshana’s false start dampen an otherwise remarkable day



Tharushi Karunaratne beat Nadeesha Ramanayake to win the women’s 400 metres.

by Reemus Fernando

Sprinter Aruna Dharshana gave athletics fans both joy and heartache on an otherwise remarkable day as the Junior and Senior Track and Field trials concluded with a number of athletes achieving their personal bests at Diyagama yesterday.

Athletics analysts were waiting for Dharshana to reach his personal best in the men’s 400 metres final after the Army athlete produced the best performance in the heats where as many as five athletes clocked sub 47 seconds. When Dharshana followed up his 200 metres winning time of 21.12 seconds with a feat of 46.43 seconds in the 400 metres many expected him to produce a sub 46 seconds performance in the final.

But the shocking foul start meant that he will have to wait for more than a month to test his true potential. Incidentally, Kalinga Kumarage, who was off-colour in the heats (47.51 secs – second in heat 3) won the final with a feat of 46.27 seconds. However, 100 metres sprinter Medhani Jayamanne who was disqualified for a foul start in the women’s 100 metres heats was not so unlucky, as athletics officials gave her an opportunity to compete in the women’s 100 metres final, though her place was (2nd) not recognised. She clocked 12.16 seconds in the final.

Chamod Yodasinghe reached his personal best to win the men’s 100 metres.

In Dharshana’s absence four others, namely, Kumarage, R.N. Rajakaruna, Dinuka Deshan and Pabasara Niku clocked sub 47 seconds.

In the corresponding women’s 400 metres, schoolgirl Tharushi Karunaratne continued to shock her senior counterparts. Having won the women’s 800 metres on day one, the Ratnayake Central prodigy also bagged the 400 metres victory as she clocked 53.41 seconds to beat Asian Championship participant Nadeesha Ramanayake.

In the men’s 100 metres Chamod Yodasinghe reached his personal best as he clocked 10.37 seconds to win the final.

In the women’s 100 metres final, Rumeshika Ratnayake clocked 12.01 seconds to win running against the wind (-2.9). In the heats, she clocked sub 12 seconds.

In the morning, Gayanthika Abeyratne finished the women’s 1500 metres just three seconds shy of her national record mark as she clocked 4:12.53 seconds to win closely followed by steeplechase national record holder Nilani Ratnayake. Abeyratne’s national record established last year stands at 4:09.12 seconds.

In the Under 20 age category events Malith Yasiru produced the second-best performance of the Asian region in the Under 20 boys’ triple jump this year when he cleared a distance of 15.43 metres to win the event.

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Sri Lankan sailing teams compete in Pakistan



The Sri Lankan national team of two sailors and one windsurfer, with the Navy team of a sailor and a windsurfer, were invited to participate at the first Chief of Navy Staff International Sailing Regatta 2023 held from March 14 to 20 in Karachi, Pakistan. Twelve countries including Australia, Bahrain, Croatia, Egypt, China, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Oman, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey had sent their teams to Karachi. The Sri Lankan national team consisted of Laser Standard sailor (ILCA 7) NGMU Ghanawardene, Sri Lanka Navy, Priyantha Gunawardene, Sri Lanka Navy participating in the Windsurfing RSX Class and Laser 4.7 (ILCA 4) sailor Tharen Nanayakkara. The Navy team consisted of Laser Standard sailor (ILCA 7) JMPL Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka Navy and WAS Weeratunge, Sri Lanka Navy participating in the Windsurfing RSX Class.

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