Thatscricket - News - Lankan Government calls for Sumathipala's ouster

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004, 3:10 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka's Government has called for the removal of the head of the country's biggest telecom carrier, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), who has been charged with breaking immigration laws to help a gangster.

Telecommunications Ministry secretary Tilak Ranavirajah said he had asked the treasury, as the main share-holder of SLT, to remove Colombo businessman Thilanga Sumathipala as chairman.

"I have asked for the removal of Mr Sumathipala on the basis of the legal proceedings against him and the fact that he is now in remand custody," Ranavirajah said.

However, the process of removing Sumathipala from SLT, which is partly owned and fully managed by Japan's NTT, could be a lengthy process in line with company law, officials said.

Last week, a magistrate remanded Sumathipala, who is also the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, the main governing body of the sport in the island, on a charge of breaking immigration laws to help a gangster leave the island.

Sumathipala had been accused of aiding and abetting an underworld figure known as Dhammika Amarasinghe, a man implicated in over 28 murder cases, to obtain a forged passport and travel to London to witness a cricket match.

Amarasinghe was shot dead while making a court appearance with his prison guards 10 days earlier.

Sumathipala in judicial custody

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