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Sri Lanka’s sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe says his ‘life is at risk’

Addressing Parliament, Ranasinghe said President Wickremesinghe is trying to frame him for political vengeance and using false facts related to a vehicle

November 27, 2023 1:52 pm

Sri Lanka's sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe
Sri Lanka’s sports minister Roshan Ranasinghe.

Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe on Monday claimed that his “life is at risk” for “highlighting corruption” in the country’s chaotic cricket administration and if anything happens to him, then President Ranil Wickremesinghe and his chief of staff should be held responsible.

Addressing Parliament, Ranasinghe said Wickremesinghe is trying to frame him for political vengeance and using false facts related to a vehicle.

The minister said a vehicle imported by him was seized by the authorities under the pretext of tax manipulation to frame him on false charges.

Is this the reward I get for highlighting corruption in cricket? I took action based on audit reports, Ranasinghe said, referring to his move to appoint an interim committee to run the Sri Lankan cricket administration.

He further questioned why the President is taking political revenge, when he, as the Sports Minister, had only exposed corruption.

My life is at risk, I may be killed today or tomorrow. If something were to happen to me, the President and his advisor Sagala Ratnayake (Chief of Presidential Staff) should be held responsible, Ranasinghe was quoted as saying by news website newswire.lk.

He accused Wickremesinghe of trying to fix him for exposing corruption in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and sacking its management.

Earlier this month, Ranasinghe had sacked the SLC management and appointed former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga as head of a seven-member interim committee to govern the cricket board but the Court of Appeal restored it a day later.

However, with the Sri Lankan Parliament unanimously passing a resolution, calling for the sacking of the country’s cricket governing body, amounted to government interference, forcing the ICC to suspend Sri Lanka.

The chaos in Sri Lankan cricket came after the national team’s early exit from the World Cup. Sri Lanka, which won the ICC World Cup in 1996, finished ninth out of the ten teams in 2023.

President Wickremesinghe had advised Ranasinghe against appointing an interim committee, warning him of a possible ICC action.

Wickremesinghe has the power to remove Ranasinghe from the Cabinet and appoint a replacement.

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