While completely rejecting and condemning the findings of the report submitted to the Sports Minister by a committee appointed to look into the eligibility of his nomination for Presidency of Sri Lanka (SLC), MP Thilanga Sumapthipala said that he would not give up his fight for justice until the “Dharmadasa brothers are chased away from cricket.”
Speaking at a packed media briefing held yesterday, Sumathipala lashed out at the finding of the report, saying that the inquiry panel headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports had no proper understanding of cricket or the country.
“These findings were made without proper understanding of cricket, the country or anything of the sort,” he said.
He also claimed, that in a sad state of affairs, he was still to be formally informed that his candidature had been rejected by the Sports Minister, learning of it himself from the media.
Sumathipala went on to detail his innocence for the charges that were made against him – his involvement in gambling, sports goods and media businesses – elaborating his point with documents, which he claimed undoubtedly cleared him of those allegations.
However, he said that he urged the panel of inquiry to grant him another date to hear his case, since he believed that the panel could not comprehend the technicalities of his submissions, which had not happen.
The panel in its report had found Sumathipala guilty of one charge according to the Minister of Sports, who subsequently rejected the nomination submitted by the former President.
Sumathipala went on to call for an election for the Presidency.
“If there was an election, these people wouldn’t have a chance. They would be wiped away and rejected by the voters,” he said.
Sumathipala went on to assert that the people that are to be appointed are not suitable to hold such positions.
“These are crooks who have been convicted of repeated offences. One of them was found guilty of fraud in the stock market and had to pay a hefty fine. These are the people who are to be brought to clean up the game of cricket,” he said.
Sumathipala also said that if he takes office at the SLC he would reveal the corruption that had engulfed the country’s main cricketing authority within three months.
“Give me three months and I’ll reveal how they have played to the board” he said.( Hafeel Farisz and Shehan Daniel)