COPE chairman’s son attending SLC meeting will be probed – Speaker

An investigation is due to be carried out into the participation of COPE chairman Prof. Ranjith Bandara’s son, Kanishka Bandara, during the recent Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meeting held with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials.

Accordingly, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena had stated in Parliament this morning (16 Nov.), that an investigation will be carried out into the participation of the COPE Chairman’s son in the said meeting.

The issue was raised in the House by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, who claimed that the Prof. Bandara’s son had “no right” to sit amongst the members of the COPE.

“What right does he have to come to the COPE. And what did you’ll as Parliament officials, do about it? I would like for you to give an answer on this now, without saying the matter will be looked into or that it will be discussed later. Tell me, what right does the son of the COPE chairman have to sit at a COPE meeting, when not even the Leader of the Opposition is allowed to do so. It is a right that not even I possess. Tell me, how did he come? Is it allowed?”, Premadasa asked Speaker Abeywardena.

Premadasa further urged that the required measures be taken for Prof. Bandara to be temporarily suspended as the COPE Chairman, until its meetings with SLC have concluded, due to a conflict of interest.

The Opposition Leader presented several documents in Parliament, evidencing the fact that Prof. Bandara serves as a consultant for SLC on the Kandy Cricket Campus project, apart from another consultancy firm, owned by Prof.  Bandara, providing its services to the SLC.

He further questioned whether Prof. Bandara should be allowed to serve as the COPE  chairman at all, on account of the fact that he did not disclose his connection to SLC, and continued to act as the COPE Chairman despite this possible conflict of interest. – ada derana

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