Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s most iconic world cup winning former captain, has expressed his disappointment over the appointment of former cricket board President Thilanga Sumathipala’s as a member of the Committee Of Parliament Enterprises (COPE).
Sumathipala, the self proclaimed messiah of Sri Lanka Cricket, has been banned by Sports Ministry after an International Cricket Council (ICC) report revealed his active involvement in betting and gambling!
However, within few weeks of getting banned from the cricket, by making a mockery of it, Sumathipala has return as a COPE member. SLFP, the party of current president of the country Maithripala Sirisena, under the coalition of Joint Opposition (JO), has nominated Sumathipala as COPE member.
Ranatunga, who forever changed the game in the Island with historical world cup triumph in 1996, is extremely disappointed with Sumathipala induction at COPE.
“This is a shame! An internationally tainted, banned by an International Sports governing body, has now been appointed as COPE member. It shows the character of the opposition” Ranatunga told Cricket Age.
The COPE was formed in 1979. The responsibility of the committee is to ensure the compliance of financial discipline in Public Corporations and other Semi-governmental bodies in which the Government of Sri Lanka has a financial stake.
However, Sumathipala’s only motive is to cover all allegations in Sri lanka cricket, as right now there is an inquiry going on by the COPE in parliament over financial irregularities and frauds of SLC.
“The timing of his appointment is itself a joke with this country. Just as the COPE is about to investigate SLC forensic audit report, here Sumathipala has been named in the committee, irrespective of the fact that he himself is responsible for majority of financial irregularities as former president” he added further.
Moreover, how can a corrupt politician can get in to Cope committee?
“Entire country is asking the same question. That’s why JVP immediately opposed his appointment. This week, UNP is also going to write a letter to honorable parliament speaker Karu Jayasuriya to cancel Sumathipala’s appointment. It’s an insult of COPE, that Sumathipala will be sitting there” the legendary former captain concluded.