By Marlon Dale Ferreira –
Sri Lanka’s dismal performance and their opening World Cup loss to Co- Hosts New Zealand left mostly everybody in charge ducking for cover as they got a pummeling that would either make or break them as the tournament continues. As much as it was an embarrassment over in New Zealand, it also appeared to be an even more embarrassing moment for the Executive Committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, as their Executive Committee Member Shammi Silva went on to refute the press release provided by SLC in their defence against JVP MP Sunil Hnadunhettige and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) report to the Bribery Commission regarding allegations made against the former Sports Minister Mahindanada Aluthgamage, the Interim and Executive Committees of SLC and current Secretary of SLC Nishantha Ranatunga.
It now appears to be quite evident that someone internally may have provided the ‘slip board’ of information that was required for the JVP to document the large number of case files they eventually submitted to the Bribery Commission. This is especially in their supportive drive of keeping with the new government’s pre-election promise of booking those previously involved in gross financial malpractices which is part of the 100 day plan.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s (JVP) fire brand MP Sunil Handunhettige who filed the said findings earlier with the entire nation watching eagerly, now appears to have been deflated after 18 of the current 22 Executive Committee Members of SLC converged to refute Handunhettige’s filed claims in their Press Release.
The ‘cat was set among the pigeons’ the very next day when Executive Committee Member Shammi Silva sent in an email to SLC’s President Jayantha Dharmadasa who was incidentally not available for the previous days Ex-CO Meeting and also copied the entire committee disapproving the contents of the press release that was presented by SLC to the media.
When Colombo Telegraph contacted SLC for a comment, Ashley De Silva the CEO made just two comments, “the Ex-Co is currently following what was decided at the Emergency Meeting by all members who were in attendance and our Ex-Co Member Shammi Silva’s subsequent email sent the next day to the President Jayantha Dharmadasa will be discussed at our next Ex-Co meeting”.
However Shammi Silva When contacted commented “ I vehemently and categorically deny the comments made by SLC’s press release to the media as some of the contents mentioned were not what was agreed in our Emergency Meeting of last Tuesday”.
It is a known fact by all that every filed allegation against SLC has had the ratification of the entire Executive Committee and none has been approved by any single individual.
As much as the internal chaos and grouses that take place among the two known factions at present, it is common knowledge that with the exception of the President Jayantha Dharmadasa, every other Executive Committee Member has been voted in through a democratic process to occupy these seats. It is high time that all of them focus on running the smooth day to day functions of the Cricket Board rather than back stabbing each other and leaking of critical information to third parties.
It will be interesting to see how the JVP will react now, if the information they have been provided with is proven to be erroneous. Surely it will not stand in good stead for those that leaked it in the first place, as the JVP will surely ‘bell’ them for providing false information that will make people question their integrity.
Whoever passed on this critical inside information to the JVP, has done so with the fine stroke of an artist’s paint brush.
Of the four parties accused, it is the current Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga who is most affected, as he is tipped to contest the post of President at the upcoming General Elections of SLC.
As for now it will be interesting to watch the bout take place with SLC in the ‘Blue’ Corner and JVP in their usual color of ‘Red’. The gong has sounded and who will remain standing at the end of the fight is what eager spectators are waiting to see. The seconds have started ticking away in this crucial one hundred day ‘Yahapalanaya’ round.