The General Secretary of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna(SLPP), Member of Parliament Sagara Kariyawasam says that there is no agreement to give the chairmanship of the COPE and COPA Committee of the Parliament to the opposition.
Kariyawasam said,”We have two parliamentary committees. One is the Committee on Public Enterprises called COPE. And the Committee on Public Accounts called COPA. All the rules and regulations for running these two committees have been prepared through standing orders. But a member of the opposition has stated today that it was agreed to give the chairmanship of these committees to the opposition party, but it was not given.
He continued, “this kind of talk raises the question of whether there is a deliberate conspiracy to destroy the credibility of this honorable assembly and the people’s confidence in the democracy of this country. Because there is no mention of the appointment of chairmen from the opposition to the COP and COPA committees anywhere in these standing orders”.
Imtiaz Bakeer Markar (SJB) said ,” Bernard Soysa was an opposition member and chairman of the Accounts Committee for twenty years, and Handunnetti was there. The ruling party showed its genuineness by giving the presidency to the opposition”
Kariyawasam further continued,”We know Wijedasa Rajapaksa of the COP committee as a member of the ruling party as long as I can remember. Then there was Mr. Dew Gunasekara, a member of the ruling party. After that, during the Sirisena cabinet period, Sunil Handunnetti was appointed. But JVP was a participant in that first Sirisena cabinet, with the United National Party.”
” A ruling party member was appointed as the chairman of the COPE committee during the last government. In the history that we know, the position of chairman of the COP committee was given to a member of the ruling party and not to a member of the opposition.”
Sagara Kariyawasam said this while addressing the Parliament yesterday (22).