CSN owned by president Rajapaksa's sons - Sri Lanka Cricket

By Saroj Pathirana | June 11, 2012

Nishantha Ranatunga (L) and Upali Dharmadasa (R). Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has admitted that Carlton Sports Network (CSN), who it awarded television rights to for three years, is owned by Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa's sons.

However, president of SLC Upali Dharmadasa told BBC Sinhala the cricket board did not award CSN local television rights to broadcast cricket matches because the channel was owned by the president's sons.

"Are we supposed to reject a company because it is an organisation owned by the president's sons," Dharmadasa asked.

Dharmadasa insisted the deal between CSN and SLC was struck without any political influence and that proper tender procedure was followed. He also revealed that CSN agreed to pay more than the actual bid price they offered in their tender after SLC held discussions with the channel.

"Nothing illegal or unlawful has taken place," Dharmadasa maintained.

But lawyer J.C. Weliamuna, the former head of Transparency International Sri Lanka, said the state had lost approximately 3000 million rupees in revenue as a result of awarding rights to CSN for 125 million rupees.

Dharmadasa rejected this claim and added that such a bid was impossible to imagine, as there will only be a limited number of tours by international teams within the next three years.

The SLC president also refuted the notion that there was a conflict of interest in chief executive of CSN Nishantha Ranatunga being permitted to contest for the post of SLC secretary. According to Dharmadasa, Ranatunga was allowed to contest in the SLC election by the island's sports minister.

This article originally appeared on BBC Sinhala service. It has been translated to English and republished here with permission from the author.

© BBC Sinhala

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Anonymous's picture

racing car.....

Patta Pal's picture

It is high handed for the President of SLC to even to make a statement like that. There is a clear conflict of interest, and however impartial the tenders were, it does not remove this conflict.

So no matter what was paid, even Rs3Billion, it is still a conflict of interest and the rights of the Sri Lankan people have been violated.

So where is the justice? Can anyone take them to court and expect justice? No even there there is political meddling and conflict of interest. So we then have no option but to proscribe everything, every contract that has been entered into by this government or its appointees which include SLC. At that point all of the decision makers will be personally liable and jailed if the fines amounting to billions are not paid. So Dharmadasa, just get ready to do time. Don't say no one warned you, and that you broke the law. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

SAM's picture

mung kamba horu.

Anonymous's picture

naduth hamuduruwange baduth hamuduruwange

Hasthi's picture

Looks like the white elephants are the consolation when gray elephants are harassing poor villagers while green elephants have become useless.

Robin Senanayake's picture

These guys are all in the same racket. There is no doubt there is a conflict of interest when the Presidents sons are invoved The citizens of this Banana republic will have to grin and bear all these undemocratic decisions. All in the Family.

Anonymous's picture

Corruption at it's finest..

Anonymous's picture

It is very pathetic scenario

The opposition parties are silent on these issues

This is a very clear violation of law as well as undemocratic

The goverment owned TV channel did not bid as they had to play ball with the ruling family

Nisantha Ranatunge cannot hold a position in Sri Lanka Cricket Board and be the CEO of the TV station

It is very unethical.

How can the Sri Lankans expect justice and fairplay when the so called administrators of the country is enjoying the income which should have gone to the countrie's till.The poor people have to pay taxes at the expense of the rulers and thier kith and kin.

mahanama's picture

Smelling a rat.All in the game.

BumiPuthra's picture

I don't think they understand the word "conflict of Interest".

This is corruption at another level. Still the people are silent and there is no protest about anything.

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