An Echelon Media Company
Friday December 9th, 2022

No truth to Aluthgamage’s Cricket World Cup Match-fixing allegation – Police

NO WITCH-HUNT – Opposition activists protest against questioning of cricketers over alleged match-fixing

ECONOMYNEXT- The probe into whether the 2011 Cricket World Cup final was fixed so that Sri Lanka would lose launched by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Ministry of Sports is over.

The head of the Chief of the SIU SSP Jagath Fonseka has told Media that the statements of cricketers who were questioned are genuine.

A statement released by Police headquarters at 4:20 pm said no evidence of match-fixing has been revealed.

The investigation was conducted after Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna candidate Mahindananda Aluthgamage who was Minister of Sports in 2011 alleged that the match was fixed.

This angered Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena captain and vice-captain of the losing Lankan sides who challenged the former Minister to prove his allegation.

In response, the SIU grilled Sangakkara for nine hours and also questioned former opening Batsman Upul Tharanga.

Summons were issued to Jayawardena but he was not questioned.

Aluthgamage, who has alleged that the government of Kuwait was purposely sending COVID 19 infected migrant workers back to Sri Lanka, was also questioned.

He has not explained why as Sports Minister at the time of the 2011 final he did not investigate this claim.

SSP Fonseka told the Lankadeepa newspaper that the statements that were given by Sangakkara, Tharanga and former Chairman of Selectors and star batsman Aravinda de Silva clearly indicated that Aluthgamage’s allegations did not hold water.

Jayawardena arrived this morning at the SIU to give a statement on the match-fixing allegation in the World Cup final of 2011, even though the SIU had told him last night that they had postponed the interrogation.

He told waiting reporters that even though he was informed by the SIU he came today with their permission, to challenge incorrect media reports and he requested not to publish fake news quoting statements which were not issued by him.

The sight of two of Sri Lanka’s greatest sporting heroes being dragged to the police more than a decade after the match was played angered fans.

The Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya sought to ride that wave of public anger staging a demonstration outside Sri Lanka Cricket calling on the government to stop its Witch-hunt of the sportsmen.

SSP Jagath Fonseka further said that they will send the report on the investigation to the Secretary of the Ministry of Sports.

A decision to end the investigation was drawn during a discussion with high ranking officials of the Special Investigation Unit held this morning, he said.

SSP Fonseka pointed out that the summoning of various cricketers to record statements had caused a crisis in the country and can lead to a major issue.

Former Minister and opposition politician Patali Champika Ranawaka told a press conference that Sangakkara and Jayawardena had been harassed by the government for daring to challenge questionable projects.

He said that the robust criticism of the government’s plan to build a Cricket Stadium in Homagama by these two cricketers attracted the government ire and that is why there was a witch-hunt.

However, according to section 13 of the Prevention of Offences Relating to Sports act if any person who makes any false allegation knowing the content of such allegation to be false or having reasons to believe that such allegation is not true, commits an offence under this Act will be liable to a fine not exceeding rupees one hundred thousand or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment upon conviction. (Colombo/July3/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sri Lanka president slams power regulator chief after conflicting with minister

ECONOMYNET – The powers to change the electricity tariff in Sri Lanka is vested with the Minister of Power and not the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), President Ranil Wickremesinghe told the Parliament.

The minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekara has requested an upward price revision to be implemented in two phases both in January and July next year, saying the recent tariff hike was not enough for the state-run utility provider Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to continue uninterrupted power supply.

However, Jaynaka Ratnayake, the Chairman of the PUCSL had said  the recent tariff hike is enough for the CEB to cover the cost of production and it will not allow another price hike. However, he has said a twice a year price revision is necessary though it should be in April and October instead of January and July.

President Wickremesinghe said the PUCSL chief was opposing the tariff hike due to his personal reasons.

“The power is vested with the Minister and me. I am the one who made the PUCSL act and I know what is in it,” Wickremesinghe told the parliament on Thursday. quoting a letter from the Attorney General which mentioned provisions in the island nation’s Electricity Act.

Accordingly the Act, the PUCSL would be statutorily obliged to give effect to such policy. It is observed that neither the Act nor the PUCSL Act contains any provisions that empowers the PUCSL to change or act invariant of such policy guidelines.

“The Chairman of the PUCSL is misguiding the general public. I have to meet him and see,” Wickremesinghe said.

WIckremesinghe said the Chairman does not want the tariff hike because he owns one of the highest electricity consuming companies.

“He is the Chairman of the Trillium corporation. It is the firm that takes up the most energy”, he said.

The Trillium group is managed by Janaka Ratnayake and he also holds positions as the chairman and CEO of Trillium Property Management & Services Ltd., City Housing and Real Estate PLC, Trillium Residencies Ltd., Computer Care (Pvt) Ltd., and Rent a Comp Services (Pvt) Ltd., and JR Management Consultants (Pvt) Ltd.

“It means when the electricity bill increases, his expenses increase as well”

He said the CEB still has a loss of 300 billion rupees since 2013 and it needs to be covered.

The CEB issue can be solved only in three ways, either printing more money, increasing value added tax or increasing the tariffm, he said. (Colombo/Dec08/2022)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka President bemoans over inconsistent LNG deals

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe bemoaned over successive governments’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal that has brought in all the world powers into the discussion.

Wickremesinghe’s center-right United National Party (UNP) had discussions with India and Japan between 2002-2004 for an LNG project.

“Following dialogues with India and Japan, the UNP government could come to agreements to get two LNG power plants. After we were defeated the successor government, without cancelling those agreements granted it to New Fortress company in USA,” Wickremesinghe told the parliament.

“Thereafter, as they did not like New Fortress, they gave it back to Pakistan and China. So within the same premises, there were China, Pakistan, India, USA, Japan and only Russia was not there.”

“It was wonderful that a world war did not ignited there as there were five main powers in the world.”

“Now there is no LNG or anything here and now they ask me to solve this issue.”

Wickremesighe’s outburst comes as his government is forced to raise tariffs on power prices after successive governments failed to implement cheap and renewable power generation projects.

He said a total loss for the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board since 2013 was 300 billion rupees and a possible drought next year could increase the 2023 electricity cost to 420 billion rupees.

“If it rained, we need Rs. 352 billion while Rs. 295 is required if rained so much to have floods. How are we going to find this money? We would have to print money, but Rupee would depreciate. We would have to increase VAT but it would increase the price of all commodities or to charge it direct.” (Colombo/Dec08/2022)

Continue Reading

Air quality drop forces Sri Lanka to close schools; public warned

ECONOMYNEXT – A rapid drop in air quality in Sri Lanka has forced the Colombo government to close all schools across the country after a deep depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal, officials said.

The Education Ministry, issuing a special notice on Thursday said, it has decided to close all government schools for Friday, after discussing with the officials in Meteorology Department and Disaster Management Center.

An official said the drop was due to the deep depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal carrying the air from India.

Due to the depression over South east Bay of Bengal (370 km east of Trincomalee) has concentrated into a cyclonic storm “Mandous” by Wednesday night.

“Cyclone in the Bay of Bengal that is the prime reason for the increase in the pollution load as we receive more wind from India,” H.D.S.Premasiri, Senior Scientist, Coordinator-Air Quality, noise and vibrations at National Building Research Organization (NBRO) told EconomyNext on Thursday.

Officials said there is a likelihood of the cyclone moving west-northwestwards and further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm tonight and cross North Tamil-Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coast around midnight of 09 th December and the maximum wind speeds will be 70-90 km per hour and can increase up to 90 in sea areas.

“Hopefully, today we can expect normalization in the environment and the effects of the fog will disappear”.

According to the NBRO’s real time Air Quality Index Indicator, the quality of air in northwestern coastal district of Puttalam has dropped drastically and indicated a particular matter (PM) 132, while Kegalle (85) and Mannar (84) were the districts which had next worst air quality.

According to NBRO, Battaramulla, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Kegalle, Mannar and Puttalam indicate a poor quality of air due to higher PM.

“The fog will lead to lung and breathing issues,” Premasiri said.

“So the public is warned to wear a mask when they travel outside. The pollution highly prevails in city areas and has a less impact on the other parts of the areas.” (Colombo/ Dec08/2022)

Continue Reading