February-9 deadline for SLC elections
At the meeting held on Wednesday, 29 August, in Dubai, between Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities, including Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, Faiszer Musthapha, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman Shashank Manohar and its CEO David Richardson, it has been resolved to hold elections to Sri Lanka Cricket on or before 9 February 2019, sports ministry sources revealed on Thursday, August 30.
- It has also been resolved to appoint an Election Committee by the SLC to ‘vet the voter list’ and conduct those elections.
- The said Election Committee has to consist of three (3) officials: Two (2) retired judicial officials of the High Court and above, and one (1) retired senior member of the Elections Department/Commission or any retired public official with experience in conducting elections.
- The next noteworthy decision arrived at the said meeting is to appoint a Management Committee, which will consist of four (4) independent members together with the Competent Authority, to manage the affairs of SLC until the elections are conducted.
Minister Musthapha’s Facebook page, elaborating on the outcomes of Wednesday’s meeting held at the ICC headquarters, said the following:
“After a robust meeting with the Chairman, and CEO of ICC, the following were mutually agreed upon by both parties as a go-forward mechanism for Sri Lanka Cricket.
- To amend regulations to appoint an election committee by the general body of the SLC consisting of two retired judicial officials of the High Court and above, and a retired senior member of the Elections Department/Commission of Sri Lanka or any retired public official with experience in conducting elections. The proposed election committee shall have the authority to vet the voter list and to finalise the same in order to conduct the election process and to announce results.
- On the appointment of the election committee as stated above nominations shall be called within a period not less than one month from the said date of appointment of the election committee.
- Any party dissatisfied with any decision taken by the election committee shall appeal within a period of one week to the appellate body consisting of three retired judges of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. Any appeal is to be finalised within one week of submission to the said appellate body.
- To appoint a Management committee which will consist of four independent members together with the Competent Authority, to manage the affairs of SLC until the elections are conducted.
- To make necessary arrangements to conduct elections to elect office Bearers to SLC on or before 9th Feb 2019.”
SLC were to go for polls on 31 May 2018 to elect members of its Executive Committee but they were halted by a court order when one of the presidential candidates, Nishantha Ranatunga, challenged the SLC election process and the legitimacy of the outgoing President Thilanga Sumathipala’s candidacy on the basis that the latter had family ties to the gaming industry, a contravention of the existing ICC laws.
The court case on the election process was vacated two weeks later, clearing the way for fresh elections, but the government parties sought to carry on with the day-to-day management of SLC under a Competent Authority appointed by the Sports Minister.
Then the ICC issued a warning to the SLC in July to ensure that they hold elections by the end of 2018 or face a risk of being suspended as a member of the ICC, the world governing body of cricket.
* The above picture shows Minister Musthapha (2nd left), Competent Authority of SLC Kamal Pathmasiri (L-4), Senior Deputy Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department, Sumathi Dharmawardena (R-3) and the CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket, Ashley De Silva (R-2) with ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar (L-3) and its CEO David Richardson (far left) at the ICC headquarters in Dubai on 29 August, 2018.