Sri Lanka Cricket is shocked and appalled

Sri Lanka Cricket is shocked and appalled at the malicious news item broadcast by a mainstream media group last evening (04/07/2019), alleging that Sri Lanka Cricket is responsible and/or complacent in the financial fraud of USD 187,084/75 that occurred during the South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2018, under the administration of the Competent Authority appointed by the then Minister of Sport.

In spite of the agreement between Sri Lanka Cricket and Taj Television Limited (dated 18/12/2013 & 14/01/2014) signed by Mr. Jayantha Dharmadasa in his capacity as President and Mr. Nishantha Ranathunga in his capacity as Hony. Secretary at the time, which through novation on December 30th 2016, transferred the obligations of Taj Television Limited to Sony Pictures Networks India (Aqua Holdings Investments (Pvt.) Ltd.) failing to specify a nominated Bank account and/or nominated signatory, Sri Lanka Cricket by way of Vendor Master Creation document prepared in line with the requirements of Sony Pictures Networks India has designated and/or specified and/or nominated a particular bank account, as well as designated and/or specified and/or nominated its Chief Executive Officer as its contact person and/or authorised signatory.

However, In or around August 2018 during the tenure of the Competent Authority, Sony Pictures Networks India had made a payment of USD 187,084/75 (due to Sri Lanka Cricket) to an un-nominated account on the purported instructions of an un-nominated staff member of SLC contrary to the said Vendor Master Creation document, resulting in the fraudulent transaction currently under investigation.

The elected administration of SLC, that took office in February 2019, had declined to make public statements in regard to this matter in deference to the ongoing criminal investigation. However, in light of the said circumstances and under advisement of legal counsel, SLC had written to Sony Pictures Networks India on or about the 3rd of May 2019, to obtain payment of USD 187, 084/75 due as broadcast rights fee for the South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2018, which has not been received by Sri Lanka Cricket to date.

SLC having received a response from Sony Pictures Networks India, is in continued legal consultation in order to best resolve this matter in the best interests of Sri Lanka Cricket, whilst giving due consideration to our long-standing and ongoing relationship with Sony Pictures Networks India.

We wish to further place on record, that the fraudulent transaction in question, occurred during the time of an interim administration appointed by the Minister of Sport at the time, and none of the members of the current legally elected administration of SLC were in any way involved with SLC, or may be held responsible/accountable to any actions that occurred during the said interim administration.

We are most perturbed at the despicable level to which the local television station in question has lowered their standards of journalism, stooping so low as to make no effort to ascertain the facts of this matter from either the signatory of the letter used in their news item, and/or of the official spokesperson of SLC prior to airing such damaging content. The clear motive of slander and defamation towards SLC and its current administration, with ulterior motive is amply evident, and SLC shall be compelled to take all steps available under the laws of Sri Lanka in order to obtain all available remedies in law and equity against these vicious and un-substantiated attacks on its reputation and integrity and that of its elected officials.

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