Friday, December 1, 2023

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SLC denies connections with CoPE Chief

Colombo (LNW): The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Administration denied any current connections with Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (CoPE) Prof. Ranjith Bandara.

In a statement, the SLC acknowledged a past agreement with the Colombo School of Business and Management, led by Bandara during the tenure of the previous administration. The school provided consultancy services to the former SLC administration from 2017 to May 2018, receiving payment solely for these services, the statement admitted.

Opposition Leader MP Sajith Premadasa raised concerns in Parliament about a potential conflict of interest with Bandara leading the CoPE investigating SLC.

Public footage of the SLC hearing at the Committee sparked controversy due to what it appeared to be Bandara hand-signalling a SLC member, leading to a storm of speculation that the CoPE Chief had ‘silenced him’ not to speak.

Bandara dodged the question in Parliament asserting that he did not silence anyone but urged the attendees to speak ‘one at a time,’ and criticised the Opposition for ‘politicising’ the Committee.

The Opposition Leader questioned the involvement of Kanishka Bandara, Prof. Ranjith Bandara’s son, in a recent CoPE meeting with SLC, prompting Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to announce a probe into the matter.

The Speaker acknowledged that external participation in CoPE meetings is not allowed and pledged to look into the circumstances surrounding Kanishka Bandara’s presence.

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