Lanka govt scraps controversial TV deal

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The controversial deal signed with Taj Television for telecast rights of the cricket matches in Sri Lanka has been scrapped by the government.

Updated: July 13, 2008 07:54 IST
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The controversial multi-million dollar deal signed with Taj Television for telecast rights of the cricket matches in the island country by the previous Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee has been scrapped by the government.

"I have instructed SLC to cancel the television contract last evening after receiving the finding of a special three-member committee," Sri Lankan Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge said on Thursday.

The investigation committee was headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation S Liyanagama.

The decision terminates the deal involving two new agreements signed for providing TV rights for home matches from 2009 to 2012.

The current agreement with Taj Television would expire by the end of this year.

"The deal for the next three years has been cancelled and the previous agreement that lapses this year end will stand," Lokuge said adding the new agreements had been entered into without a mandate.

An independent committee was appointed by Lokuge to conduct a detailed inquiry to find out whether the previous SLC interim committee, headed by Jayantha Dharmadasa, had entered the deal without legal authority.

The Review Committee was asked to probe circumstances in which the controversial agreements were signed.

According to the SLC officials the decision to cancel the decision would be informed to Taj Television after which fresh bids will be invited.

Taj will, however, be entitled to participate in any tender that would be floated by the SLC for future TV rights.

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