COPE Chief Minister Dew Gunasekera believes that Sri Lanka Cricket is the most corrupt institution in the country. Responding to a query by The Island, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka alleged that SLC was in a crisis today due to corruption. There couldn’t be any other reason, the outspoken National List MP said, emphasizing the need to further investigate the corrupt body.
Senior Minister Gunasekera said that the COPE intended to thoroughly investigate the payments made to lawyers by SLC. Asked whether the parliamentary watchdog committee disputed payments made by the bankrupt institution, the MP said that lawyers had received nearly Rs. 100 mn from SLC. “We now intend to obtain from SLC names of those lawyers hired by them. In fact, the Inland Revenue Department, too, will be informed of the payments,”
An irate Gunasekera said nothing could be as shocking as the failure on the part of SLC to make due payments to national cricketers, whereas those running the once-highly profitable operation squandered money with impunity. The MP said that SLC owed national players nearly 500 mn rupees.
The outspoken politician said that the unprecedented crisis at SLC obviously fueled fears that Commonwealth Games 2018 could be a disaster due to mismanagement and corruption. The COPE in its latest report tabled in parliament on Dec. 1 pointed out that the construction of new playgrounds and expansion of existing facilities had cost SLC a staggering Rs. 7.18 bn, in spite of the estimated cost being Rs. 3.3 mn.
Sri Lanka spent $ 8 mn to promote the country’s games bid. Though some UNP MPs, including Dr. Harsha de Silva and Harin Fernando lashing out at the UPFA over the bid, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe offered to go ahead with the preparations in the event of a change in government