COPE split along two main party lines public betrayed
Posted on October 26th, 2016

By Rathindra Kuruwita Courtesy Ceylon Today

As the United National Party (UNP) members of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) refused to recognize the Chairman’s Report on the controversial Treasury Bond issue, COPE member Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Nalinda Jayatissa, spoke to Ceylon Today of the COPE splitting on party lines, and of betrayal of public expectations by the two main parties.
Excerpts of the interview:

?: Right now the biggest investigation handled by the COPE is the one on the two controversial Treasury Bond auctions in 2015 and 2016; this investigation has also led to a split in the COPE with one group wanting to stick with the Chairman Sunil Handunnettis Report, while the United national Party (UNP) members of COPE wanting to present a separate report. As a member of COPE, tell me about the investigative process that was followed?

A: We were entrusted with investigating allegations of irregularities by the Central Bank in the issuing of Treasury Bonds from February 2015 to May 2016. We used testimonies given before the previous members of COPE, which also investigated the issue, the Report of the Auditor General and the statements given by the former Central Bank Governor and others, before us in our investigation. Last Thursday, Chairman of COPE MP Sunil Handunnetti presented a report at the COPE, based on the above mentioned evidence. It was a 45 page document. We discussed the report, page by page, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and we started the discussion again at 9.30 a.m. on Friday. Most of the COPE members agreed with the contents of the report and they wanted to present this report to Parliament on 25 or 26 of October. So, I have to reiterate that the majority of COPE members agreed with the Chairman’s report. At this point the UNP members said that they will not accept this report. So they set upon preparing their own separate report and their report will also be presented to Parliament. Thus the Chairman’s Report, accepted by most COPE members and the report of the UNP members will both be submitted to Parliament, hopefully within this week.

?: So the COPE is to present two separate reports on the same issue. Has this happened before?

A: A lot of people think this is something new, but there have been previous occasions where various Parliament Committees have submitted more than one report on the same issue, with contrasting conclusions. COPE members can also present more than one report based on their individual observations. It is up to Parliament to decide which report that they accept.

?: From what you told me I get the impression that the UNP members of the COPE went along with the view of the majority until last week, or at least their dissent was not militant. But from the news reports that we get today (24), not only did the UNP members object to a few recommendations of the report, but also the entire process. What triggered this?

A: The UNP members of COPE acted in a particular way from day one. I think the public was not aware of this fault line. On 7 July, MP M. Velu Kumar stepped down from COPE and State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe was appointed in his place. He was specifically chosen because of his actions on the Treasury Bond controversy. Last year Senasinghe filed a case against DEW Gunasekera, chairman of COPE at that time, for releasing an interim report on the Treasury Bond investigation, and he also wrote a booklet defending the former Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran. The UNP from the beginning wanted to clear Mahendran and to show that there were no irregularities in the Treasury Bond auction. The UNP attempted to manipulate the investigation to suit their agenda till the last moment and when they realized that they couldn’t influence the Chairman’s Report, they set out to produce a separate report.

Not only that, the UNP members threatened the Auditor General around 5.30 p.m. on Monday (24). During the previous sessions they insulted the Auditor General and on Monday they insisted that we revoke the recommendations of the Auditor General stating that he has a political bias. At that point COPE chairman Sunil Handunetti left the discussion in disgust. But I must reiterate that the UNP had from the beginning wanted to disrupt and manipulate the process. They wanted the COPE to clear Mahendran, say that there were no irregularities and they wanted us only to probe Perpetual Treasuries Limited, to determine whether they made an undue gain. They did and are doing all they can do to achieve these goals.

?: There were reports throughout last week that UNP members of the COPE shouted at the Auditor General in filth during the sessions. Given what happened on Monday many believe that these reports must also be true. As a member of COPE, did you witness the UNP members of the COPE shouting at the Auditor General in filth?

A: There were definitely insults and threats. Maybe what you described happened after 2.30 p.m. on Friday when we left the proceedings. So, I can’t confirm whether UNP members of the COPE shouted at the Auditor General in filth on that day, but given the behaviour of the UNP MPs, it is extremely possible.

?: UNP acted as if outraged by President Maithripala Sirisenas speech, last week, criticizing the independent commissions. But now its known that UNP members of the COPE insulted and threatened the Auditor General because they didnt like what he was saying about the Treasury Bond issue. If they actually care about independent commissions and depoliticizing the State sector, would they have acted in this manner regarding the Auditor General?

A: Indeed, the speech given by President Maithripala Sirisena criticizing the independent commissions and the behaviour of the UNPers at COPE regarding the Auditor General, are identical. In his speech, the President attempted to protect SLFP MPs, facing corruption allegations, have now joined the UNFGG Government. He wanted to protect people like Dilan Perera, Priyankara Jayaratne, A.H.M. Fowzie, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Susil Premajayantha. When cases against these MPs were being investigated, the President attempted to put an end to the investigations by threatening the independent commissions. As a result the Director General of the Bribery Commission, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe had to go home. That’s how the President guarded the crooks in his camp.

The Prime Minister on the other hand attempts to protect the crooks in his camp by using the UNP MPs to threaten the Auditor General, tarnish the image of COPE and by manipulating the COPE to clear Arjuna Mahendran. So, both sides are using various ploys to protect unsavoury characters in their respective camps. Both these groups have forgotten the promises given to the people during the Presidential election.

?. Due to accusations, of the Rajapaksa Government misdemeanours, it was decided that independent commissions must be appointed. Despite appointing independent commissions there are concerns that it can also be interfered with. What can be done about this?

A. The problem is not the independent commissions. The problem is that these independent commissions are not allowed to function independently by the powers that be. In fact, we prefer if Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe did not resign from her post. If she felt threatened by the President’s remarks she should have brought the criminals who are part of the current government to book. According to the mandate given by the people to this government, they are supposed to punish the miscreants; not protect them. If the highest of the political power is protecting these wrongdoers, these independent commissions should expose it. We request the members of the commissions to work according to the responsibilities bestowed upon them, and if they do so, the people of this country will protect them.

?. What are the other aspects of concern which the COPE is looking into?

A. From January to July this year, we have submitted 19 reports on the State institutions which we looked into. Yesterday, we debated in Parliament about these institutions. We hope to have the issue of the Treasure Bonds before the budget comes up. In the meantime we are investigating into other State institutions as well. The main motive and interest displayed by the UNP when the COPE was appointed, has not gone up in flames. Earlier when Rajapaksa’s miscreants were brought to book, they were very happy. But, now when we do our investigations pertaining to State institutions the miscreants are the UNP ministers. Therefore they are trying to sabotage the work done by COPE. We should be alert as to how the mandate given to this government is taking shape; it is up to the people to take part in preventing this.

?. Next year, the Local Government elections will be held. What kind of preparation has your party done?

A. We are doing our day to day political work. However, the matter of the methodology in which this election would be held is a common problem for all parties. Although a new electoral system has been passed in Parliament, there are still shortcomings in it as acknowledged by the Elections Commissioner. The public and the candidates do not have any idea about this new system.

With regard to Constitutional Reform there are also discussions with regard to amending parliamentary elections and Provincial Council elections. So, when introducing an electoral system there cannot be a different one for Provincial Council, Local Government and Parliamentary elections. They should all agree to one system. It is wrong for the government to postpone elections when they feel that their power is threatened. It is also wrong to put forth an electoral system which neither the candidate nor the public understands. The government must definitely hold elections. We request that elections should be held in the old system till a new system is introduced and the candidate and the public are made aware of it. They can make this the last election to be held in the old system.

8 Responses to “COPE split along two main party lines public betrayed”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Nalin da Jayatissa says that Commission members should act independently and Prosecute ALL crooks, whether they are Aiyooo Sirisena’s or Ranil’s, and that THE PEOPLE WILL PROTECT THEM.

    Easy for him to say, but everyone knows that when push comes to shove NO ONE WILL STAND UP to protect them.

    Look at how the WAR WINNING Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leaders of his UPFA GOSL, and his family are being HARRIED from PILLAR TO POST today. Are THE PEOPLE they fought to liberate from EELAMIST TERRORISTS PROTECTING them now?

    The ANSWER is NO, they are not. The Comissioners KNOW they will be hung by their necks and left to dangle in the air without any help from the so called UNGRATEFUL “PEOPLE” who have already abandoned the Rajapaksa family!


    There is a LESSON HERE for ALL of US!

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


  3. Lorenzo Says:

    My dear DEMO-CRAZY loving modayas of SL, do you HONESTLY think demo-crazy can save the people and country SL? Think again about this BRITISH IMPOSED system.

    IF you read world news, you will notice WORLD’S 2 LARGEST DEMOCRACIES are all CRAZY.

    Endia world’s largest demo-crazy elected a WAR CRIMINAL as PM. He keeps waging war against neighbours and killing minorities.

    World’s second largest demo-crazy USA has a choice between a LUNATIC and a MANIAC.

    Then there is SL. FANTASTIC choice between BLUE CROOKS and GREEN CROOKS. OK, if you really need choice you have RED CROOKS and SAFFRON CROOKS (TNA) that sit together!

    IF you still think the BRITISH IMPOSED demo-crazy is of ANY use, please for god’s sake take some pills. Anything you can find.


    Brits left demo-crazy parasites that make a LIVING from this ROTTEN and CORRUPT SYSTEM. They tell you demo-crazy is great. USA and ENDIA want SL to remain demo-crazy. Do you think they LOVE SL? They want SL to remain a demo-crazy because they KNOW demo-crazy RUINS SL.

    IF you love SL please think OUTSIDE the box and consider history. Should we allow demo-crazy to FURTHER RUIN SL or should we get the GUARDIAN GODS to save SL?

  4. S.Gonsal Says:

    GUARDIAN GODS to save SL?

    So called GUARDIAN GODS behaved like GURAD DOGS, taking orders from CROOKS.

    “The problem is not the independent commissions. The problem is that these independent commissions are not allowed to function independently by the powers that be. In fact, we prefer if Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe did not resign from her post. If she felt threatened by the President’s remarks she should have brought the criminals who are part of the current government to book.”

    Very true. Why only JVP fighting bravely and in an unbiased way ? Where are the others ?

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Gonsal, you are confused. Who said COMMISSIONS and POLITICIANS are guardian gods? Who saved SL from ELLALAN, CHOLAN, LTTE invasions and FOILED a planned US invasion in 2009 by removing their darlings on ground? Guardian gods.

    Like the Hindu goddess Dwarga our guardian gods ride the tiger (T-72 TIGER war tank that is), like god Muruga’s VELAYUTHAM our guardian gods carry the AK47 and like Jesus our guardian gods will be nailed to a cross (LLRC report) and killed.

  6. S.Gonsal Says:

    I am not confused ! I know what you meant exacly, but those real GODS are invisible and scared , not knowing what would happen. They are not high rank commanders who party with crooks.
    First two lines of my comments has nothing to do with the rest.

  7. Christie Says:

    Another trick of the Indian Empire for its subjects the Sinhalese.

    The two parties, three parties representing the Sinhalese SLFP, UNP and the JVP are quarrelling while the Indian Empire and the Indian colonial parasites are making a killing.

    Most of the events and incidents in the island are directed and managed by the Indian Empire.

    Wake up, understand, unite and stand against the Indian Empire.

    Otherwise we will be eating Grilicidia.

    තවත් ඉන්දියානු අදිරද ජඩ වැඩක්. සින්හලයින් රන්ඩුවෙනවා ඉන්දියාවත් ඉන්දියානු පරපෝසිතයනුත් මල්ල පුරවාගන්නවා.

    ව්ටහාගන්න, එකතුවන්න ඉන්දියානු ජඩයන්ට එරෙහිව නැගී සිටින්න.

    නැත්නම් අපිට ලාඩප්පා කාපල්ලා තමයි.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Central Bank Scam hidings is just for starters for the Ranil led UNP / Yahap !
    VAT to support luxury vehicles for Yahap VIPs was just passed.

    Wait for the Main Menu :

    – ETCA
    – Sea Tunnel to Tamil Nadu
    – 5,000 acre lots on 99 yr leases to foreigners
    – New Constitution (what might that bring ?)

    Name of the film now being shot is called : “Ranil&CBK Revenge continues” !!

    If we don’t laugh, we might cry.

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