19 April 2015

SLC the Miracle of Asia

Navin should have known better
‘SLC’ stands for Sri Lanka Cricket.  That’s not what the headline refers to.  The headline refers to Sri Lanka cricket (note the lower case ‘c’) or cricket in Sri Lanka. 

Our cricketers, individually and collectively, have brought more glory to the country than most politicians and officials, including and especially those who run Sri Lanka Cricket (note the upper case ‘C’).     They secured two World Cups (ODI and T-20) and made it to the finals of several top international championships with other creditable performances in bilateral series.  All this in the midst of contract controversies, run-ins with obnoxious and incompetent officials, many charged with multiple counts of corruption.  That’s the miracle we are talking about here. 
Nuski must (have been in the) know

There are miracles that make us feel blessed and miracles that make us gasp in disbelief.  There are no doubt many ‘gasping-miracle’ associated with SLC but right now it’s all about the clean-up rhetoric of the new minister, Navin Dissanayake. 

The minister’s thinking is spot on. The Sports Law requires amendment to streamline things in all sports bodies.  Getting the system right and then holding elections makes sense.    The International Cricket Council (ICC) doesn’t want government interference in domestic cricket bodies, but the minister has a strong case to back his decision.  The ICC is also upset with the minister for stating that the international body is colluding with members of the former cricket administration.  The minister didn’t name names or mention cases but he could and probably will do both.  At the right time. 

If he succeeds in correcting the flaws in the constitution pertaining to sports bodies, then we could hope for measures that will ensure parasites will be stopped from standing for election.  All power to Navin Dissanayake on this, therefore.

The problem with SLC’s interim committee however is the composition.  The committee includes a person who has been involved in SLC through all the dark years.  Nuski Mohamed.   Now the minister defends his choice on two counts.  First that he has known Nuski for a long time.  True.  Nuski was ‘Gamini’s man’, that’s Gamini Dissanayake, Navin’s father, a man whose indefatigable efforts helped Sri Lanka achieve test status in 1981.  But that’s not reason enough.  The Minister has stated that he needed someone from the previous administration to help keep the Committee informed about what had taken place.  That’s valid.

What’s wrong here is that Nuski Mohamed was the Treasurer of the last Executive Committee of SLC.  The minister has alluded to financial wrongdoing by that Committee.  If he suspects wrongdoing of a financial nature then there’s no way that the Treasurer of that Committee is not implicated either for complicity, aiding or abetting, or rank incompetence.  Mohamed is also under a cloud for position-abuse in the very least on account of that uncomfortable but largely ignored thing called ‘conflict of interest’.  If the minister wanted someone from the previous administration he could have picked someone else.   It’s these things that can scuttle that which is attempted in good faith. 

Navin Dissanayake is a minister in a regime that pledged to restore ‘good governance’.  He would know that this is made of accountability and transparency.  Nuski Mohamed has a lot to account for.  If the Interim Committee is mandated to clear things up, it can do without people with questionable track records. 

As things stand, with the much talked of ‘100 Days’ of the newly elected President’s manifesto drawing to a close and fresh parliamentary elections around the corner we have come to a place called touch-n-go.  Navin Dissanayake needs to get the Sports Law amended and make sure that the unclean are kept out.  If he achieves this it would indeed be a miracle and one which would make SLC the Miracle of Asia for reasons not of the gasp-in-disbelief kind.   


Akuner said...

Good piece but don't you mean: there is no way the treasures is 'not' implicated in complicity?

Malinda Seneviratne said...

correct! thanks. corrected.