As the much awaited Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) election are scheduled to be held on Thursday, February 21, former president Thilanga Sumathipala is trying every trick to manipulate things in favour of his candidates. Particularly, as two of his closest associates Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne were barred from contesting the election by Sports Ministry on legal ground, there are plenty of attempt being made to overturn the decision.
In one of such attempt, Sumathi Dharmawardana, senior deputy solicitor general attached to Attorney General’s department, has tried a doosra in last few days by manipulating and misleading all other officials, Cricket Age reliably learns.
According to sources, since last one week, Dharmawardana is trying his best to support Sumathipala camp in the forthcoming SLC election. Yesterday, he tried to manipulate AG’s department and Sports Ministry officials to overturn the ban decision and allow both Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne to contest the election.
However, as the both candidates were rejected by SLC election appeal committee, that comprises of two retired senior Supreme Court judges and a retired senior government officer with unblemished track record, the AG’s department and Sports Ministry officials refused to do so.
More shockingly, later it emerged that Dharmawardana has a conflict of interest in this matter since his father-in-law general Hamilton Wanasinghe’s security company
M/s Gaja Shakthi security has been handling security at Dambulla stadium. The said security contract to M/s Gaja Shakthi, worth millions, was given to the company during Sumathipala’s previous tenure at SLC.
It was also reveled that Dharmawardana has been handling the business after the prolonged illness of his father-in-law and has been a regular visitor at SLC to negotiate contracts and collection of payments. Moreover, Dharmawardana is a regular member of Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) where Mohan De Silva is a Vice President.
It is noteworthy that On February 8, just two weeks prior to SLC election, the Appeal Committee has delivered a death blow to Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne by ruling that they are ineligible to contest the 2019 SLC election.
The decision had been taken considering an appeal which questions the eligibility of the said duo to contest, as both of them were in the SLC Executive Committee which was dissolved in March 2005 by the then Sports Minister, Jeewan Kumaratunga by issuing a Gazette notification, citing several financial irregularities and appointing an interim committee to the SLC.
Both Mohan De Silva and Ravin Wickramaratne went court against the decision. The court of appeal is set to hear a case of their disqualification on Wednesday.