man on borrowed time
Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club has appealed three times to the
Cricket Board for action to be initiated against Board President
four page letter signed by Bloomfield President Upali Dharmadasa has
questioned the "double standards" of the Cricket Board in
meting out discipline to cricketer Kaushalya Lokuarachchi but
avoiding doing so in the case of far more serious charges against
Board President Thilanga Sumathipala.
Sumathipala apart from being President, Sri Lanka Cricket is also
unfortunately Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom, at which institution he
continues to conduct his wheeler dealing.
source at Bloomfield said that the Cricket Board "has been
passing the buck" and avoiding tabling the letter in
question.Last week, the Board had made a vague promise to table the
explosive letter at its exco meeting on November 12.
the lack of integrity on the part of the entire executive committee
members of the Cricket Board who have not had the spine to stand for
what is right and just, it comes as no surprise that the Cricket Board
will not play fair by even its own member clubs.
call for investigation
the damning and conclusive evidence against Thilanga Sumathipala, not a
single member of the exco has had the guts to even call for a full scale
and independent inquiry or to question Sumathipala as to why he used
Cricket Board funds to take an underworld killer to the UK in 1999 and
thereafter sanctioned that these monies be written off.
of course did so with the full blessings of Treasurer Trevor Rajaratnam
and Secretary Mohan de Silva. It is to this level these men have trashed
and pillaged the august offices of Sri Lanka Cricket.
however is a man on borrowed time. If there was one individual who would
have clapped his hands in glee at President Chandrika Kumaratunga's
antics last week it would have been him.
has gleefully told confidants that the spotlight this week at least will
not be focused on him but on the political crisis.Sumathipala of course
less than 24 hours after he returned to the island last week claimed he
had been "approached" by Mangala Samara-weera and asked to
to Sumathipala he refused, but given his utter inability to speak the
truth, one can only wonder. Sumathipala's
excesses in fraud have long been documented and this week The Sunday
Leader will for the record place before its readers the conclusive
evidence against Thilanga Sumathipala.
breakdown of the mobile telephone bill used by Dhammika Amarasinghe
while inside the Magazine prison has proved that Thilanga Sumathipala
has been in touch with Dhammika repeatedly while the underworld kingpin
sits in prison. Sumathipala's mobile phone number is 077 7765544.The
Dialog mobile phone used by the underworld killer bears the number 077
6093568. The phone is registered under the name of one H.G. Priyankara
of 101, Market Road, Dambulla.
Mahinda in his second recorded statement to the CID has reiterated that
the "Thilanga boss" he refers to in his confession to the
Gangodawila Magistrate is Thilanga Sumathipala, Sri Lanka Telecom
chairman and Sri Lanka Cricket president.
FC voucher at the Cricket Board and referred to in the Jinadasa report
has stated that under the classification of the then BCCSL president, a
sum of Rs. 170,651.34 (sterling pounds 1,500) was utilised from the
funds of the BCCSL in 1999 to purchase traveller's cheques for one
Buddhika Priyashantha Godage.
December 1997, underworld gang leader Dhammika Amarasinghe applied for a
passport from the Immigration and Emigration Department. He made his
application on December 28, 1997 by presenting an ID card bearing number
732161295V in the name of Buddhika Priyashantha Godage. Dhammika also
gave a copy of Godage's birth certificate claiming it to be his own.
application for this passport was certified by S. Palihawadana, Justice
of the Peace at Jayanthipura in Battaramulla. Dhammika gave his address
under the name of Buddhika Godage as residing at 431/1, Pitakotte, Kotte.
Under the category of profession he stated that he is unemployed.
underworld figure, 'MA,' has told police in a statement that he dropped
Dhammika at the VIP entrance of the Bandaranaike International airport
in May 1999, where members of the Ministerial Security Division came out
and met Dhammika and escorted him inside.
the same flight
to 'MA,' Dhammika had told him he was leaving for the UK to watch the
cricket world cup.'M' has also stated that Thilanga Sumathipala was on
the same flight as Dhammika.
jointly signed letter by Assistant Treasurer, BCCSL, Lucien Merinnage in
1999 and BCCSL President Thilanga Sumathipala to the Hatton National
Bank (HNB) to arrange for 1,500 sterling pounds to be released in
travellers cheques to Buddhika Priyashantha Godage was co-signed on May
3, 1999 and addressed to the Manager, HNB, at Janadhipathi Mawatha,
is why Thilanga Sumathipala's credibility today lies in tatters. When
first questioned on the statements made by Bada Mahinda to the CID where
Mahinda had seriously implicated Sumathipala, the latter lied to this
newspaper. When we contacted Sumathipala and asked him if he has had any
relationship with the underworld figure Dhammika Amarasinghe alias
Perera he said, "absolutely not."
as to whether he planned and financed the assassination attempts on
Editor, The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, Sumathi-pala strongly
denied the charge saying, "I was one of the first to rush to
Lasantha's house when it was shot at in 1998. We have been friends for
many years and all this is the work of Gamini Abeyratne in an attempt to
split the party." Sumathipala in fact never visited the home of
Wickrematunge after the shooting.
out the mobile phone number presently used by Dhammika Perera, we asked
Sumathipala if he was familiar with the phone number.
He said he did not recognise the number at all."This is news
to me. I cannot remember this particular number," he said.
detailed breakdown of Dhammika's mobile phone bill has repeatedly
displayed Sumathipala's personal mobile phone number.
This proves Sumathipala blatantly lied.
he told Wickrematunge he does not know an underworld leader by the name
of Dhammika Amarasinghe. When confronted with the telephone bill he
retracted his lie admitting he did have contact with Dhammika.
Wickrematun-ge has made a statement to this effect to the CID.
an executive committee meeting of the Cricket Board soon after the
newspaper exposes, Thilanga Sumathipala told committee members that he
has no idea who Buddhika Godage is; has no knowledge at all of such a
payment released to Godage in 1999; and has not in any capacity
authorised for such monies to be released to this individual from the
statement to this effect we have proved Sumathipala lied following
evidence of a voucher at the Cricket Board and other documentation,
which proves Sumathipala authorised and sanctioned such payment.
this newspaper published the letter co-signed by Sumathipala and Lucien
Merinnage to HNB to release a sum of sterling pounds 1,500 to Buddhika
Godage, Sumathipala told Cricket Board members no such letter exists.He
went so far as to call for an audit query.
bank has now handed over certified copies of this letter to the CID,
which proves that Sumathipala lied in this instance too.
further attempts at subterfuge he enacted when he tried to speak with
Executive Director, Airport and Aviation Services Limited, Gamini
Abeyratne requesting the latter to persuade Bada Mahinda not to state
that the 'Thilanga boss' he refers to in his confession is Thilanga
breakdown of the phone bill of Secretary, Kandy Cricket Club, Janaka
Pathirana who was used by Sumathipala to phone Abeyratne proves the
calls made within minutes between Pathirana, Abeyratne and Thilanga
last but not least is evidence of the minutes of the March 28, 2001
executive committee meeting of the Cricket Board, which clearly states
that the sum of sterling pounds 1,500 to 'Mr. Godage' be written off.
admits signing letter
for the record it is important to remember at this juncture that Lucien
Merinnage in his statement to the CID has admitted that the signature on
a jointly signed letter with Thilanga Sumathipala to the HNB is his.The
letter authorised the bank to release 1,500 sterling pounds in
travellers cheques to Buddhika Priyashantha Godage.
on Friday, October 17, had visited the offices of HNB and requested to
be shown a copy of the letter. Upon seeing it, Merinnage had exclaimed,
"My God, this does look like my signature."
the letter, Merinnage has also hand written below the typed figure of
1,500 pounds in words "one thousand five hundred only."
in his statement to the CID has said the signature on the incriminating
letter does appear to be his.He has said that he would have signed the
letter after being advised to do so by the Cricket Board President who
in 1999 was Thilanga Sumathipala.
this evidence, a court order was secured and Bada Mahinda was taken out
of the Welikada prison to identify the houses where offences had been
committed by this underworld gang led by Dhammika.
thus identified a house at 40B, Kawdana Road, Dehiwela, which The Sunday
Leader later proved is registered at the Dehiwela/Mount Lavinia
Municipality as belonging to Thilanga Sumathipala and his wife, Samadara.
to Bada Mahinda the underworld killers staked a hideout at this house
after having murdered a fellow underworld gang leader, Baddegana
is bewildering is that despite the mountain of evidence how Sumathipala
continues to walk the streets hobnobbing with the high and mighty.
Attorney General the public glare is now on you!