Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Chairman Upali Dharmadasa said yesterday he would obtain legal advice on Nishantha Ranatunga’s dual role as SLC Secretary and CEO of Carlton Sports Network (CSN) when the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) directs him to do so in writing.
“I have not received any intimation from COPE either in writing or verbally. I will take necessary action if and when I receive the direction in writing,” Mr. Dharmadasa told Daily Mirror.
In a summary on ‘Poor Accountability and Hazy Transactions’ at a number of state, banking and semi-state institutions, COPE had instructed that corrective, disciplinary and legal actions be taken against those responsible for misappropriation and that these matters be referred to the CID and the Bribery Commission.
COPE Chairman and Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara on Thursday presented an Interim Report in Parliament on inquiries conducted by COPE last year on 235 public enterprises.
Commenting on the SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga’s role as Carlton Sports Network CEO while holding the top executive’s job at the SLC, the interim report stated that, “When the agreement between SLC and the CSN was signed, the SLC Secretary who also serves as CSN CEO is a matter which led to clear Conflict of Interest,”
COPE has directed SLC Chairman Upali Dharmadasa to take legal advice on this matter.
On the much hyped IIFA cricket match held on the sidelines of the Indian International Film Association film festival in June, 2010 in Colombo, the report states that the sale of tickets of the IIFA Cricket match had been given to a private company contrary on the directive of the Minister and the ticket income which was separately collected by the SLC had not been handed over to the Tourism Promotion Bureau up to the date of the inquiry.
Referring to the promoter of one of the main traditional exports of the country, The Sri Lanka Tea Board, the COPE interim reports states that although Rs.9,038,930 had been paid by the SLTB to a private institution for the installation of a computer system, the work remained uncompleted even after seven years and according to the agreement the system should have been installed and handed over within 90 days.
Furthermore, some of the components installed several years ago had been outdated by now, the report stated.
“The Committee was not confined only to the examinations on the Auditor General’s reports. Whenever there is an issue with special public interest, it has called for information from the relevant authorities with regard to such matters,” the senior minister said.
He said the Auditor General had directed that the purchase of substandard fuel by the Petroleum Corporation be probed and the National Savings Bank was summoned to answer questions on the controversial purchase of The Finance Company shares.
The senior minister said the importance of amending the existing rules and regulations with regard to the children and youth were broadly discussed with the Child Protection Authority as they had not been updated for the past 75 years.
He said the establishment of private universities, the education system and the degree courses conducted in the Universities and the measures that could be taken to develop the University education were discussed with the officials of the University Grants Commission. (SAJ)