Harin Fernando appointed as Sri Lanka's new sports minister
This change follows the dismissal of Roshan Ranasinghe from the position of Sports Minister by President Ranil Wickremesinghe
- Sri Lanka
Harin Fernando has assumed the role of Sri Lanka's new Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs. Alongside his new appointment, Fernando will retain his existing portfolios of Tourism and Land, local media reported. This change follows the dismissal of Roshan Ranasinghe from the position of sports minister by President Ranil Wickremesinghe. The President's announcement, conveyed in a letter, cited immediate removal of Ranasinghe from the roles of Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Minister of Irrigation.
The decision comes amid recent disagreements between the President and Roshan Ranasinghe, particularly regarding the cricket crisis and issues within Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), as reported by NewsWire - a Sri Lankan news website. Notably, Minister Harin Fernando previously served as the Minister of Sports from 2019 to 2020. During this tenure, the International Cricket Council (ICC) commended him for his efforts in combating corruption in cricket. Fernando was praised for introducing legislation in Parliament that criminalized corruption in sports, making Sri Lanka the first Asian nation to legalise such offences.
In recognition of his dedication, corruptors in sports could now face imprisonment. This move reflects Sri Lanka's commitment to curbing corruption in sports, setting an example for other nations in the region. Wickremesinghe announced the decision to sack Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe at the ongoing Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Ranasinghe had appointed Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka's World Cup-winning captain in 1996, to oversee a new interim board. A retired Supreme Court judge and a former board president are among the seven members of the newly constituted body. Several Hours after Sri Lanka Sports Minister Roshan Ranasingha established an interim committee led by 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga to take control of SLC, the Court of Appeal on November 7 issued an interim order suspending the operation of the Gazette appointing in respect of cricket governing body's Interim Committee appointed by the Sports Minister, Daily Mirror Online reported.
The Sports Minister's move to replace the Sri Lankan Cricket Board was not appreciated by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe who rebuked the Sports Minister for his decision. "President Ranil Wickremesinghe told me that if the Cricket Interim Committee is not removed, the Sports Act will be brought under him. I said that the committee will not be removed, I have told the President to remove me from the ministry," the Sports Minister had said in Parliament
Sri Lanka cricket was suspended by the ICC SLC following the political slugfest. After hearing representation from SLC, the ICC Board decided that Sri Lanka could continue to compete internationally both in bilateral cricket and ICC events. However, funding to SLC will be controlled by the ICC and the ICC Board confirmed Sri Lanka will no longer host the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024, which will now be held in South Africa. (ANI)
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