Prof Wijesinghe decries govt hogging 95 per cent of the COPE membership and its Chairmanship


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Former State Minister Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said yesterday that the Chairmanship of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) should go to a Parliamentarian representing the Opposition, but the government was planning to give it to a Minister.

Addressing the media at the National Library Service Auditorium, he said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to appoint a government minister as the COPE Chairman.

Admitting that the previous government had also appointed a government minister as the chairman of the COPE, he said that according to the present government’s procedure, 95% members of the COPE would consist of parliamentarians of the ruling party.

Prof. Wijesinha said that it was not unethical for a government MP to be the COPE chairman but it was very unethical for a minister to hold that post. "Former COPE Chairman under the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government D.E.W Gunasekera told me recently that it was wrong for him to have been the COPE while being a government minister," Prof. Wijesinha said, adding they including Communist Party leader Gunasekera, Democratic Left Front leader and MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna Leader Dinesh Gunawardena had agreed with him that the COPE chairmanship should go to an Opposition MP.

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