Former SLC chief Upali refutes allegations
June 12, 2015

Former Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Upali Dharmadasa refuted allegations levelled against him that he profited from construction work done at the R. Premadasa Stadium in the run up to the World T20 2012, having ignored tender procedures to award the projects to his own construction company.

According to documents seen by Daily Mirror, Dharmadasa, in his capacity as the President of SLC, signed off on three projects at the stadium – to construct two corporate boxes between block ‘A’ and the sight screen, toilet facilities for the two dressing rooms, and for civil works to the lifts at block ‘A’ and ‘B’ – worth over Rs. 24 million rupees, to Nawaloka Piling (Pvt.) Ltd a company for which Dharmadasa serves as Chairman.

The construction of the corporate boxes was completed at a cost of Rs. 19,463,750, the construction of the toilet facilities at a cost of Rs. 4,396,579 and civil works done at a cost of Rs. 1,097,450. Each of the three projects were also charged 12 per cent Value Added Tax.

It had been alleged that by forgoing the proper tender procedure, Dharmadasa had profited from undertaking these deals through his company.

“We (SLC Ex-Co) were given only 10 days to approve this project, which were requirements of the ICC in hosting the World T20 2012 in Sri Lanka, and though we followed the due processes (the drawings of the structures, receiving the approval of the SLC Chief Engineer and the SLC Executive Commitee), we did not put out a tender for these projects,” Dharamadasa admitted.

“If we called for tenders, other companies would have bid for the projects at 75 per cent more than t he cost at which we completed it,” Dharmadasa claimed.

“Working in the construction business, I undertook this urgent requirement, and ensured they were done at the bare minimum cost without profit for the company. I even inspected the work myself to ensure it was done properly and as required by the ICC,” Dharmadasa further said.

Dharmadasa also said that he never used SLC funds even for his official requirements when he was at SLC.

“I never used SLC funds, not a cent, to travel or for accommodation when I was at SLC,” he said, adding that he bore those costs himself. SLC officials are entitled to free air travel and a per-diem when they make overseas travel for official matters. He also said he never obtained free tickets given to officials and claimed he always bought the tickets even for his family members.

“Apart from a cup of tea, I haven’t taken anything from SLC, and sometimes for meetings I supplied food on my own tab” added Dharmadasa.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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