Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, K D S Ruwanchandra (right), handing over the official documents related to Special Police Investigation Unit to SSP Jagath Fonseka.
Colombo: The Special Investigation Unit of the Sri Lanka Police has been established to prevent corruption, illicit manipulation and illegal betting with the aim to safeguard and maintain the integrity of all national sports in Sri Lanka.
This special unit was established on the instructions of Minister of Sports, Dullas Alahapperuma, and the office of this special unit was opened by the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, K D S Ruwanchandra.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Jagath Fonseka, has been appointed as the Director of the unit. Fonseka had previously served in the Terrorist Investigation Unit and the State Intelligence Unit and had undergone special training with the Royal Police of the Netherlands.
This special unit will be independent and impartial. It will investigate allegations of sports betting, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting, aiding, abetting and attempting.
The Sports Prevention Act No. 24 of 2019 states that the appointments of the investigation unit are made by the Minister of Sports and that the term of office of a member should be three years.
Speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo on Tuesday, Secretary to the Ministry of Sports, DR. S. Ruwanchandra, said that the Ministry of Sports is providing the necessary support to conduct this investigation unit independently.
“When you receive a complaint of an offense, you will be given a number and a receipt will be issued. Complaints can be submitted directly to the Secretary of the Ministry of Sports, the Director General or the Investigation Unit. No one can make any impact on this unit," Ruwanchandra said.
Director of the Investigation Unit, Fonseka, said that the Minister, the Secretary and any other high ranking official wouldn't be able to influence the investigation. “We do not seek to find fault and punish. We want to create the perfect environment for this unit to work. The Act provides for the co-operation of the inquiry under extra-judicial law even if the accused person is in another country. You can also check accounting and income expenses if needed. We are committed to protect the confidentiality of all these, ”Fonseka informed.
Attorney-at-Law, Panduka Keerthinanda, who assisted in drafting the bill, was present at a special invitation. “This is not just about cricket. Relevant to all sports in the country. This can be implemented for offenses committed within the border and internationally, ”he said.