Sports Minister Namal Rajapaksa yesterday appointed a five-member Management Committee presided by Prof. Arjuna de Silva to carry out the administration activities at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) until elections are conducted on May 20.
SLC Chief Executive Officer Ashley de Silva has been appointed as Secretary of the committee, while Sujeewa Mudalige, Chartered Accountant from PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed as Treasurer.
Attorney-at-Law Uchitha Wickramasinghe will serve the committee as a Member while Amal Edirisooriya, Director General - Department of Sports Development will be an Observer.
The Minister confirmed the appointments through a gazette (No. 2221/56) issued on Thursday.
The gazette however also created some ambiguity, with the Minister citing a previous gazette issued on February 17 stating the term of office of the current SLC administration had been extended to April 5.
“The term of office of the officers of the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket extended as per the Gazette Extraordinary dated 17th February 2021 bearing No. 2215/30 and in terms of Section 39 (1) of the Sports Act, No. 25 of 1973 ends on April 05, 2021,” the gazette issued on Thursday said.
However, the appointment of the management committee on Thursday comes in the aftermath of the Attorney General’s (AG) department determining that the term of the current SLC administration ended on February 20, two years from the date that it came into office in 2019.
That determination was in response to a letter sent to Minister Rajapaksa by the Colombo Colts Cricket Club on the same day (February 20) questioning whether the SLC administration could legally continue in office beyond February 20, as they were elected on a two-year term as per the SLC constitution.
In the letter, Colts requested the Minister to appoint an interim committee to run the affairs of SLC until the election is conducted on May 20.
The letter was then sent by the Minister to the AG’s department for its views, with the department recommending the appointment of a management committee, as the incumbent SLC administration could not continue beyond February 20.
The question then arises as to why the AG’s department determined that the current SLC administration could not legally continue beyond February 20, if in fact the Minister had actually issued a gazette dated February 17 that extended the administration’s tenure till April 5, or if the Minister had issued a backdated gazette extending the term of the administration to avoid any possible legal issues?