COPE has not yet reached conclusion on bond allegations


The parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has still not reached a conclusion on the Treasury Bond controversy, discussions are ongoing and the committee is due to meet on Monday morning to hopefully finalize the report, well informed sources said yesterday in the wake of diverse media reports including one that claimed that former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran had been held culpable.


"We have not reached any agreement and conclusions," a COPE member said yesterday on condition of anonymity. "Some people are attempting to stop discussion. That won’t happen. The report has not been finalized. We have not even reached conclusions."

He confirmed that discussions on Thursday and Friday have been protracted with the committee meeting for seven hours on Thursday and discussions going on for 11 hours the next day before proceedings were adjourned for the day. They will resume on Monday.

It was admitted that the proceedings had been noisy with a lot of shouting going on and two sides demarcated on political lines in sharp conflict.

COPE which met on Thursday had for the first time considered a draft report prepared by the Chairman, JVP MP Sunil Handunneti, assisted by the secretariat. The chairman indicated that those who wished to comment on the Auditor-General’s report to the committee may do so in writing or at a discussion where clarifications could be asked from the AG or questions put to him.

Three or four written submissions had been received and it became later evident that these submissions appeared to be an attempted ‘hatchet job’ on former Governor Mahendran.

Our sources said that the draft report was circulated among members present and the chairman gave an hour’s time for it to be read. Thereafter the committee began going through the draft paragraph by paragraph with agreement and disagreements expressed.

"We had gone through about 11 pages of a report of about 40 pages when a section of COPE membership noisily demanded that the draft be accepted with JO MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage being the most vocal," a COPE member said.

When this demand was not conceded the group had left the meeting which continued its work of examining the draft paragraph by paragraph and later returned to noisily demand the acceptance of the draft.

Fourteen out of 26 members of COPE attended Friday’s meeting. It is expected that tomorrow’s meeting will possibly attract full or nearly full attendance.

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