COPE chairmen should be made observers – Socialist Alliance

CoI into Treasury bond scandal


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Former Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) D. E. W. Gunasekera and his successor Sunil Handunnetti should be included in the Presidential Commission probing the Central Bank bond scams at least as observers, the Socialist Alliance (SA) demanded yesterday.

Matara District MP and Deputy Chairman of Sri Lanka Communist Party Chandrasiri Gajadheera told the media that Gunasekera and Handunnetti had headed the CoPE while the parliamentary watch dog committee was investigating the bond scams.

The former minister was addressing the media at Dr N. M. Perera Centre in Borella.

"I also participated in the investigation into the Central Bank bond scams as a member of the CoPE," Gajadeera said, noting that  no one had reported the existence of a mystery gazette notification the Finance Ministry had attributed to former Finance Minister and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Gajadheera said the investigation being conducted by the special presidential commission of inquiry had temporarily suspended its sittings after halting the recording of evidence from Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunge last week until the mystery gazette notification issued on Jan 01, 2015 was clarified.

Gajadheera asked why the mystery gazette notification had not been presented to the COPE. He said it was a move to hush up the issue by blaming the previous government for the sins of the current regime.

The former minister said the Joint Opposition (JO) had repeatedly requested an opportunity to give evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, but they had not been called so far.

Thanking President Maithripala Sirisena for appointing Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe the bond scams as suggested by the CoPE, Gajadeera sad it would be far more transparent if two CoPE Chairmen who headed the investigation were included in the commission at least as observers.

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