Stalwart Nishantha Ranatunga exposed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Mohan De Silva’s compulsive lying regarding board foreign accounts and inflated figures of revenue generation during the 59th Annual General Meeting (AGM) Yesterday (August 31), Cricket Age exclusively learns.
The AGM was held with the participation of its members at JAIC Hilton Ballroom, in which the Annual Audited Accounts of SLC ending 31st December 2019, which was certified by the Auditor General, was approved by the General Membership of SLC, in addition to the Annual Report of board for the year 2019.
The highlight of the AGM, however, was Nishantha’s fact-full onslaught against SLC secretary Mohan De Silva, who was trying to paint a wrong picture of SLC foreign transactions, that occurred in 2018.
A transaction of $1,83,000 had been revealed in a foreign account, when the SLC was running by then Sports Minister Faizer Mustaphas’s secretary Kamal Padmasiri as competent authority. In October 2018, Nandika Dissanayake, then chief financial officer of SLC, was taken into custody as the main suspect in the said transition fraud. By then, he had already siphoned $1,83,000, due to SLC from Sony TV for television rights for the South Africa tour.
Mohan De Silva, a loyal of former SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala, however, has always claimed that Faizer Mustapha and his competent authority Kamal Padmasiri should be held responsible for this transaction scam.
According to sources, Mohan De Silva tried to paint this wrong picture during yesterday’s AGM also. That prompted Nishantha, former SLC secretary, to set the record straight.
“It all started when Nishantha asked the non-inclusion of those particular overseas transactions in SLC’s tabled audit. In reply, while trying to cover up the scam, Mohan De Silva put the blame on Kamal Padmasiri, by saying that they were not at SLC during that period and skillfully hid the fact that the present board treasurer Lasantha Wickramsinghe was serving the board that time also in the same capacity. In addition, his repetitive attempt to held Kamal Padmasiri responsible for that financial fraud also has no ground, as he was part of the administrative committee only, which doesn’t interfere in finance matters” a stakeholder, who was present at yesterday’s AGM, told Cricket Age.
“The truth is, Mohan De Silva has desperately been trying to cover up that scam, as it was done in the supervision of Punchi Borella loyals – Piyal Dissanayake and Mahesh Bopagamage – who were part of SLC finance department at that time” the stakeholder added.
In the AGM, Mohan De Silva also tried to give credit to his Boss Sumathipala for SLC increased revenue in last five years.
“It was shameful actually, that being the secretary of the board, Mohan De Silva, in front of all the club members, falsely claimed that Sumathipala renegotiated the ICC revenue sharing model with cricket’s world governing body’s then president Shashank Manohar in 2016. By these false claims, Mohan De Silva was trying to establish that the SLC was in debt until 2015 and it was strengthened only after Sumathipala returned at Maitland Place as president. It was an imaginative claim by the Mohan De Silva. Nishantha, most insightful secretary in Sri Lanka cricket history, objected on Mohan’s lie on this as well and challenged him to produce the ICC minutes on same. After that, Mohan De Silva disappeared” the stakeholder added.
“He (Mohan) also mentioned about post 2016 revenue, brought in by Sumathipala. When his claim was questioned, it was found that $16 million were brought by Pre-2015 Committee, while only Rs. 600 million was brought in by Sumathipala administration from the Nidahas Trophy” the stakeholder added further.
“The truth is, the increased SLC revenue in last five years is the result of the broadcasting right deals, signed by the administration of 2011-2015 period. The same good work is now being carried out by Shammi Silva” the stakeholder concluded.
Although Piyal Dissanayake and CEO of SLC Ashley de Silva had rejected claims of an attempt made to transfer these funds to another account, through written statements provided on June 7th 2019 and May 8th 2018, the audit observations reveal otherwise.
The audit observations further reveal that the email correspondences had taken place via the official email addresses of the head of finance and CEO of SLC. This audit observation was confirmed through reports and evidence submitted by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team or the CERT.
This report further states that the Piyal Dissanayake and its CEO Ashley de Silva had used an application named Mymail. The report from CERT stated that emails are not copied into the operations system when this specific application is used. According to CERT, a person cannot enter the account without verifying their identity or without using a password.
The observations of the audit officials also stated, there is no evidence to support that the CEO of SLC Ashley de Silva and the Chief Financial Officer at SLC Piyal Dissanayake were not aware of an attempt to transfer these funds to another account.