Dealing with tainted COPE members: Speaker passes the buck to party leaders


by Saman Indrajith

The party leaders could change the MPs nominated to the COPE, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya told Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to concerns raised by UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe, who urged the Speaker to remove the COPE members alleged to have obtained money from Perpetual Treasuries Ltd.

"If those members are not ready to step down, I ask the Speaker to remove them and ask the relevant parties to nominate other MPs to replace them. The Attorney General has said that certain COPE members directly benefited from the main suspect accused of bond scams. The COPE probed the bond scam extensively. Therefore I request you to remove all MPs who allegedly obtained money from PTL owner Arjun Aloysius or had telephone conversations with him."

The Speaker, agreeing with the MP said, he had already conveyed that message to the party leaders and that the matter had been discussed at several party leaders’ meetings. "Your point is taken. The nominations to the COPE are done by the respective parties. The party leaders can make necessary changes if they so wish."

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