The Sports Ministry has taken a decision to hold an internal inquiry against former Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) president Thilanga Sumathipala, who is continuing to violating Sports Law by attending board meetings even after a new regulation disqualified him to do such, Cricket Age reliably learns.
On Monday (September 2), Dhammika Muthugala, director general of Sports, sent a letter to SLC President Shammi Silva, informing about the decision.
Cricket Age has the access of the letter, that reads:
“This is to inform you that I have taken decision to hold an internal inquiry as the director general of Sports with regard to the Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala’s eligibility as the immediate past President of SLC.”
For the inquiry, Shammi Silva and SLC secratary Mohan De Silva have been summoned with the copies of minutes of Extra General Meeting (EGM), that took place on yesterday.
It is noteworthy that Sports Minister Harin Fernando had issued a gazette on August 22, amending the National Association of Sports Regulations to ensure that anyone–or any member of his immediate family (being a spouse, parent, sibling, son or daughter or son-in-law or daughter-in-law)–who has an interest in “betting, gaming or wagering, or in a betting gaming or wagering organisation or is employed in the day to day operations of such organisation or organizations” is disqualified from holding office.
It is clear the regulation is directed at Sumathipala who has publicly admitted to his family’s involvement in the betting business but managed to hold office given the ambiguity of the previous regulations. But the new law is well in line with the International Cricket Council’s newly amended Code of Ethics which requires its directors to have no connection whatsoever to gaming and betting industries.
In addition, even the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also backed Harin Fernando’s gazette notification. Sally Clark, ICC’s senior legal consultant has written to the Ministry of Sports referencing the ICC’s Code of Ethics on Relationships with Betting Organisations which states no director should be connected to the betting or gaming industry.
However, it seems Sumathipala is still not ready to accept the verdict and is trying every trick to continue as immediate past President at SLC. Even Yesterday, Sumathipala attended the EGM, violating the Sports Law.