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COPE’s Oppo. MPs undecided on removing Chair

COPE’s Oppo. MPs undecided on removing Chair

06 Dec 2023 | BY Sahan Tennekoon

  • Urge Speaker to convene meeting 


The Opposition Parliamentarians who are in the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) are yet to reach a consensus regarding the removal of its Chairman, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Government MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara.

Amidst several media reports circulating that President Ranil Wickremesinghe is going to prorogue Parliament in order to make way for the appointment of a new COPE Chairman instead of Prof. Bandara, the main Parliamentary Opposition Party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) said that the Opposition MPs in the COPE have not made a final decision thus far regarding what actions will be taken against the incumbent Chairman, but that the MPs will however soon decide on the fate of the Chairman. Speaking to The Daily Morning yesterday (06), SJB MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha said that the SJB is to discuss with the other Opposition MPs who are members of the COPE and other SLPP breakaway groups in this regard. 

He said that the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana will have to convene a COPE meeting since it is not possible to postpone it continuously, and also said that the MPs will take actions against the Chair once the meeting is convened.

When he was queried about the ongoing allegations on the prorogation of Parliament in order to convene the new Committee meetings (once Parliament is prorogued, the committees including the COPE cease to function), the MP said that the SJB has not discussed about this matter thus far but said that according to his personal opinion, the ruling SLPP will not allow President Wickremesinghe to do so. Therefore, he said that Opposition MPs in the COPE will have to decide on the future actions.

The conduct of the COPE Chairman was criticised by many parties including the Opposition MPs over his conduct in a recent COPE meeting where the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had been summoned before the Committee. Prof.Bandara was accused of his “hand gestures” to SLC officials and allowing his son to attend the COPE meetings. Consequently, Prof. Bandara was removed from the Committee’s investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption at the SLC, according to a decision by the leaders of all Parliamentary parties.



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