Yahapalanaya Ministers Dayasiri Jayasekara and Navin Dissanayake along with the Royal Turf Club are in blatant violation of committing an offense against the Public Property Act number 12 of 1982 section 2, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.
The violation falling under section 2 – ‘Mischief to Public Property’ is where the Royal Turf Club, a private enterprise registered under Act no 7 of 2007 Companies Act, is currently constructing an Equine Hospital and an Equine Pool on a property in the precinct of the Nuwara Eliya Race Course, where a purported Memorandum of Understanding has been obtained to rent only its premises for twenty four months.
Photo -Rienzie Edwards and Dayasiri – From the Royal Turf Club Facebook page.
The violation of this act is non bailable, and if anyone found guilty, would serve any a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and not more than 20 years.
The said MOU which is controversial by itself, has not followed proper legal procedures according to the treasury circulars, government’s rules and regulations and establishment code prior to it been rented out to Royal Turf Club. Besides no tender procedures have been followed, there was no government valuation report obtained for the value of the property to arrive at a rent as such as this. The monthly rent charged by the Sugathadasa Stadium Authorities for this invaluable property is only a paltry sum of Rs 110,000 a month. Further, this is an unsolicited proposal where even cabinet approval had not been sort prior to handing this property over to the Royal Turf Club.
The MOU was signed between Wijarathna Devagedara the Chairman of Sugathadasa National Sports Complex Authority and Suranjith Premadasa the President of the Royal Turf Club when Navin Dissanayake was the Minister of Sports.
The 64 hectares of priceless property that makes up the Nuwara Eliya Race Course still officially belongs to the Land Ministry of Sri Lanka. The property has not been fully transferred to the Ministry of Sports and is still pending. The said property had been gazetted and a cabinet approval had been obtained for the purpose of constructing a High Altitude Training Center for sports. This is the only project that the Ministry of Sports had sought cabinet approval for prior to it being rented out to the Royal Turf Club. The Ministry of Sports does not have the authority and cannot permit the Royal Turf Club to put up an Equine hospital or an Equine pool on this very same property, without obtaining separate cabinet approval for this specific project.
Meanwhile even the current President of the Royal Turf Club Suranjith Premadasa is also in blatant defilement of the Sports Law Act number 25 of 1973 and the sports regulations of Sri Lanka.
Suranjith Premadasa is the current President of the Equestrian Federation, a sports body which is under the sports law of Sri Lanka.
As the President of Equestrian Federation, he cannot in any private capacity be involved in the sale of anything pertaining to the sport he is entrusted to govern. The Extraordinary Gazette approved by parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka – 15/01/2013 – section 15 . 1.(i) states any person would be in violation if “he is directly or indirectly involved in the manufacture, assembly, production, sale or distribution of sports goods, gear any item or equipment relating or such sport”.
This is where Suranjith Premadasa violates the Sports Law.
By its own admission at a recently concluded press conference conducted at the Hilton Hotel in Colombo on the 22nd of June 2016, the Royal Turf Club confirmed that they would be conducting an auction of thoroughbred horses on the 6th of August 2016 in Nuwara Eliya.
Even the Facebook page of Royal Turf Club posted the following message shortly after their press conference to confirm this:
Yet another first for Sri Lanka will be a horse auction! The RTC will be conducting an auction of new horses from India following the race meeting on August 6th. “We shall produce a catalogue with the breeding and racing details of all the horses who have been given a clean bill of health by Dr Mirza, who not only inspected them but also took x-rays of their legs and the auctions will be conducted under the strict supervision of vets as well as animal welfare authorities”, said Wood.
A source within the Royal Turf Club speaking on condition of anonymity said “The last races in Nuwara Eliya were absolutely fantastic. Our owner Mr. Rienzie Edwards managed to invite all the important people such as the speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Minister of Plantations and Industries Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Sports Dayasiri Jayasekara, the Minister of Tourism and Lands John Amaratunga, the Central Province Governor Niluka Ekanayake, the Nuwara Eliya Mayor Mahinda Dodampe Gamage, the Ceylon Workers Congress MP Arumugam Thondaman and a host of important people. We had champagne flowing, music, fashion shows and it was such a gala event. The yahapalanaya Ministers have been extremely supportive of reviving horse racing once again in Sri Lanka ”.
When asked about where the funding came from, our source said “We really don’t know and we really don’t care. All we know is that our Sampath Bank Account in Nuwara Eliya is like a bottomless pit. If you look at the press conferences, the fashion shows and all the glitz and glamour, it costs a lot. We even flew in all the media on Cinnamon Air to Nuwara Eliya, we put them up at Grand Hotel and entertained them with all the luxuries and gave them unlimited whiskeys and wines. We topped it off by giving them Arpico Super Center shopping vouchers and they just gave us so much of media milage ”.
Meanwhile Rienzie Mahesh Kumara Edwards the owner of Royal Turf Club and his wife Purni Edwards were last year investigated by the FCID under the prevention of the money laundering act 5 of 2006 and its provisions. They were summoned, grilled, passports impounded and a case filed at the Chief Magistrates Court in Colombo bearing case number B34119/01/15 . The presiding judge Gehan Pilapitiya ordered the case file to be sent to the Attorney General’s Department pending his opinion to proceed. Approximately a year and a half on and it is reported that that file still lays dormant. It could be safely established that it may remain that way as long as the yahapalanaya big wigs continue to horse around.