No criminal proceedings over women’s cricket allegations

SLCThe Sri Lanka Cricket board says there are no grounds to initiate criminal proceedings against any individual accused of improper conduct while they were involved with the national women’s cricket team.

Sri Lanka Cricket said that it has received the report which was recently submitted to the Minister of Tourism and Sports by the Committee of Inquiry appointed on 14th November 2014 by the then Minister of Sports to investigate the allegations.

This Committee of Inquiry consisted of Justice N. E. Dissanayake, Retired Judge of the Supreme Court (Chairman), Ms. Tharangani Keenawinna Dissanaike, Public Trustee and Mr. S. Aloka Bandara, Director of Combined Services of the Ministry of Public Administration.

The Committee of Inquiry has investigated and reported on alleged incidents of sexual harassment and improper conduct said to have been committed in 2013 and 2014 by some officials handling women’s cricket.

Sri Lanka Cricket said that it has also received the report of Ms. Manoli Jinadasa, Attorney-at-Law, who was appointed by Sri Lanka Cricket to investigate and report on the same allegations.

Following the Investigations carried out by the Committee of Inquiry and by Ms. Manoli Jinadasa, both reports have concluded that there have been a few incidents of sexual harassment which were committed by two male officials but that there was no evidence of any physical intimacy and that, there were no grounds to justify criminal proceedings.

Both Reports have also concluded that, there were incidents of improper conduct on the part of another male official which did not amount to sexual harassment.

Sri Lanka Cricket said that all three officials who were identified in the reports no longer function in their previous positions since their contracts were not renewed when they ended in April this year.

Sri Lanka Cricket also said that no allegations were made against any of the coaches or against Varuna Waragoda and Uvais Karnain who continue to serve as selectors of the women’s Cricket Team.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board, meanwhile, said that is was also very concerned by the fact that both reports have highlighted the unsatisfactory situation that prevailed in the selection and other aspects relating to women’s cricket and widely prevalent perceptions of favoritism and bias.

Further, both reports have commented adversely on the failure to ensure that a female Manager handles the women’s cricket team.

The Sri Lanka Cricket board said that it will study the reports further and take appropriate action to rectify any defects that prevail with regard to women’s cricket in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)