Colombo (News 1st) - Sri Lanka Cricket has filed a defamation suit in court against Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe claiming LKR 2.4 billion "in response to the persistent and damaging defamatory statements made by the Minister", Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a statement today (Wednesday).
The lawsuit has been filed in the District Court of Colombo by the President, Vice President and Treasurer of SLC on behalf of SLC. There was no immediate response from the Minister.
The Minister dissolved Sri Lanka Cricket last week and appointed an Interim Committee chaired by former cricketing great Arjuna Ranatunga to run its affairs. However, this decision was challenged in the Court of Appeal by the SLC Board, and the court issued a restraining order on the Minister's decision for two weeks.
The Minister's decision also came under severe criticism from President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who claimed that he had not been informed beforehand. This led to heated debates in Parliament with regard to the issue, and Parliament passed a resolution calling for the dissolution of SLC.
Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council suspended the membership of SLC, citing political interference in SLC's affairs.
The full statement by SLC is as follows:
"In response to the persistent and damaging defamatory statements made by the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Roshan Ranasinghe, Sri Lanka Cricket has taken a decisive step to protect its reputation and integrity. Therefore, on the 13th November 2023, the President, Vice President, and Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket jointly filed a defamation lawsuit in the District Court of Colombo, seeking damages amounting to 2.4 Billion rupees on behalf of the Sri Lanka Cricket.
The continuous dissemination of false and harmful statements by the Minister of Sports has caused substantial harm to the image of Sri Lanka Cricket, both domestically and internationally. The Sri Lanka Cricket, represented by its top leadership, is committed to
upholding transparency, accountability, and fair play in all its endeavors.
The legal action aims to rectify the unwarranted damage inflicted on Sri Lanka Cricket’s standing in the sporting community. The Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket believes that this step is necessary to safeguard the reputation of the organization and its members.
Sri Lanka Cricket remains focused on promoting the spirit of the game, fostering a positive environment for players, officials, and fans alike. The legal proceedings initiated against the Minister of Sports underscore the organization’s dedication to upholding its principles and protecting its stakeholders from baseless allegations.
Sri Lanka Cricket will continue to prioritize the best interests of the sport and its supporters while navigating through these legal proceedings. Further updates on the case will be provided as the situation develops."