‘Gold Dust’ seeking Shammi Silva takes Sri Lanka’s Gymkhana Club to the cleaners

Written by N Krishnamurthy

Shammi Silva, the former notorious treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC), has set his sight on Sri Lanka’s iconic Gymkhana club now.

Hailing from Dematagoda, Shammi Silva has always been a controversial figure where money and land is like gold dust for him. When Shiran Anthony relinquished office as the Chairman of the Gymkhana club in July 2014 and the club had a positive cash position of Rs 25 Million. With the finalization of the lease agreement with Universal Entertainment in June 2014 for the premises used by Clancy’s previously the club managed to generate an approximate sum of Rs.29.5 million as the lease rental.

Shammi Silva was responsible for this transaction too and reliable sources have highlighted with backhanders that Shammi Silva received from the lessee, he purchased a brand new Ford double cab on completion of this transaction.

With the Rs.25 million cash surplus the club had in July 2014, Shammi Silva bulldozed his way to the position of President. Since becoming President within a matter of five months the Rs. 25miilion was spent on his own accord on dubious and questionable exercises. Thus bringing the club to a standstill. With the pretext of bailing out the club of its present financial difficulties, Shammi Silva has now ventured out to dispose the club immovable assets.

The “Gold Dust” seeking President is now making ambitious plans to lease out the land at the grounds, where the indoor cricket nets are located for an up market housing project, to Mr. Hemaka De Silva.

With no limitations Shammi Silva’s craving for ‘’ gold dust and wheeler deals’’, at the expense of Gymkhana Club he is making serious inroads to dispose 320 perches from Queens Club premises to an Indian Investor to set up a sports hotel, Instead of focusing on developing the sports disciplines of the club.

Shammi Silva’s has always been a detrimental cause for sports at the club. It’s pure history that club decided to pull out half way through the 2014/15 Premier Division rugby tournament.

It’s a known fact as to who plundered the true Colombo-7 rental potential of main building with the swimming pool. For some preferred tenants of Shammi Silva occupying the said premises the charge for a SQ FT is low as Rs 15/=. The most preferred tenants of Shammi Silva have defaulted tenancy agreements by under paying the agreed rent. Also the unpaid rent by tenants is significantly high with millions of rupees remain as unpaid and underpaid rent currently.

For Shammi Silva there is no existence of life beyond the club. The stakeholders must not ignore the fact that properties of Gymkhana and Queens Club are state assets leased out to us purely for development of recreational and sports related activities.

Instead of keeping the Club administration within the fundamental objectives of sports and sports development activities the incumbent club President Shammi Silva, who is always full of vested interests, persistently explore avenues to utilize club land for commercial ventures where he becomes the sole beneficiary with financial rewards and kick backs from project developers.

Time is ticking faster to put an end to Shammi Silva’s craving for “gold dust” at the expense of Gymkhana Club. If this is not stopped immediately, Sri Lanka will witness historical Gymkhana Club been taken over by state authorities for exploitation and plundering of state assets.

It is noteworthy that Shammi Silva has the same sort of notorious history at the SLC as well. In order to claim all the profits at SLC the executive committee, during former president Thilanga Sumathipala tenure, mysteriously released payments through the district cricket association deliberately. All the SLC accounts audits comes under AG’s department, so on the pressure of Shammi Silva, the executive committee released payments through District associations. That’s why, Shammi Silva milked most of the SLC money for his Colombo Cricket Club!

About the author

N Krishnamurthy