Senasinghe draws flak for his conduct at COPE
Posted on August 12th, 2016

By Saman Indrajith Courtesy The Island

State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe’s conduct in the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) came under severe criticism from his fellow COPE members yesterday evening for his attempt to intimidate and threaten witnesses of the controversial Central Bank bond issue, a senior COPE member told The Island.

The state minister threatened and tried to extract information in a manner harmful to the ongoing COPE investigation on former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s involvement in bond scam when the senior most staff members of the Central Bank including its incumbent Governor and all Deputy Governors had been summoned before the parliament watchdog committee last evening.

Content of a report by the Auditor General on controversial bond issue was taken for the discussion at yesterday’s meeting.

The senior member said that there was clear evidence to prove that the UNP members in the COPE were trying to delay the process by making suggestions including resummoning some of the witnesses and re-examining the submissions they had already made before the COPE.

To counter the UNP plan, the COPE leadership suggested that they have a roadmap with regard to the investigation of Central Bank bond issue. As the majority of the committee agreed to the suggestion a date (Aug 23) had been fixed for the task, senior COPE member said.

Minister Senasinghe, who was included in the COPE recently (since July 08) had no ethical background to involve in the investigation against former Central Bank governor Mahendran for the minister had gone before courts and published a book to clear Mahendran’s name, the COPE members pointed out.

Minister Senasinghe was warned, reprimanded for his conduct and told not to repeat similar conduct again jeopardising the committee’s progress in investigations, the senior COPE member said.

Among those attended yesterday’s meeting chaired by JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti were COPE members Ajith P Perera, Wasantha Aluvihare, Chandrasiri Gajadheera, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Bimal Ratnayake, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Hector Appuhamy, Ashok Abeysinghe, Harshana Rajakaruna, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa and Weerakumara Dissanayake.

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