Row-riddled SLC to care for tsunami orphans

Published: Sunday, April 3, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka Cricket's governing body said it will go ahead with plans to provide foster care to about 1,000 children orphaned in December tsunamis.

The decision comes despite the government's suspending the board of the governing body from representing the country.

Sri Lanka Cricket's governing body was suspended last month after Sports Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga alleged financial irregularities and appointed an interim committee to oversee the body.

Despite the move, Sri Lanka Cricket head Thilanga Sumathipala said the organization was committed to building 200 houses and looking after the tsunami-affected children enrolled under a foster parent plan run by the cricket agency.

"These children who lost hope on 26th December 2004 cannot be forgotten and they must be taken care of," Sumathipala said in a statement on Sunday. "Due to the fault of others they cannot lose hope again."

The cricket body aims to raise three million dollars for the tsunami orphans.

Nearly 31,000 people are believed to have died in Sri Lanka during the tsunamis which devastated the Indian Ocean region. One million were initially left homeless.

Sri Lanka Cricket petitioned the Court of Appeal late Wednesday seeking the lifting of its suspension.

Sumathipala said the minister's action in suspending the board of Sri Lanka Cricket only meant they could not function as an officially recognised national body. The suspension had no implication for their membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Sri Lanka Cricket is incorporated as a private company but is also registered with the sports ministry so that it can represent the country at international events.

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