COPE to take sworn testimony from officials

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) yesterday decided to take a sworn testimony from officials making statements before it affirming that they are telling the truth.

This comes in the backdrop of the controversial statement made by the former CEB Chairman M.M.C Ferdinando before the COPE Committee where he claimed that the decision to offer Mannar Wind Power Plant Project to the Adani Group of India was made by the President due to influence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and withdrawing it later noting it was inaccurate.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa categorically denied it following Ferdinando’s statement.

 The former CEB Chairman also withdrew his statement to COPE and apologised noting it was inaccurate and he had made the statement at a time when he was under mental stress.

COPE said officials who will be appearing before COPE in future will have to take an oath at the beginning of the Committee meeting similar to the practice in Courts that their statements are accurate and truthful.

This was among several other decisions taken at a special Meeting of the Committee on Public Enterprises chaired by MP Prof. Charitha Herath yesterday.

The Chairman of COPE also tabled the statement withdrawal letter dated 11.06.2022 pertaining to the statement made on 10.06.2022 at COPE by the former CEB Chairman Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando.

COPE Chairman Prof.Charitha Herath stated, “Today we considered the letter sent to COPE by the Chairman of the CEB on 06.11.2022. An important discussion took place in accordance to that letter.

Today, I would like to draw your attention to certain points in this letter that has been submitted as an appendix to it. Accordingly, the decision of COPE is that the former Chairman Mr. M.M.C. Ferdinando will be summoned before the Committee again to hold discussions with him and thereby re-determine the contents of this letter and then take the decision regarding expunging the respective contents of his testimony as requested.”

Accordingly,it was decided to summon the former CEB Chairman M.M.C.Ferdinando before COPE on June 23 at 11.00 am. It was also decided to hold a special meeting on July 25 based on the expert reports on the progress of SriLankan Airlines.

MPs Rohitha Abeygunawardana, Jagath Pushpakumara, Anura Dissanayaka, Dr.Harsha de Silva, Patali Champika Ranawaka,Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Dr. Sarath Weerasekera, Jayantha Samaraweera, S.M. Marikkar, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Indika Anuruddha Herath, (Dr.) Nalaka Godahewa, Eran Wickramaratne, Madhura Withanage and Premnath C. Dolawatte were present at this special meeting held.

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