The independence of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) maybe in jeopardy due to clandestine moves by the United National Party (UNP) to thwart any attempts to take action against ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.
During a crucial meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Auditor General’s Report on the controversial Treasury Bond transactions, UNP MPs who are members of COPE had said that they could not accept the AG’s report, and it needed to be referred to an independent expert for an independent opinion.
During the meeting, the UNP MPs had continued to protect Mahendran, which resulted in a tense situation at the meeting. “The UNP MPs had insisted that Mahendran was not to be blamed for the loss the State incurred due to the controversial transaction,” sources said.
Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the UNP is attempting to bring in Minister of International Trade Sujeewa Senasinghe as a COPE member to further help strengthen the UNP team who are trying to protect Mahendran.
“UNP MP M. Velu Kumar has tendered his resignation, so the UNP can bring in Senasinghe,” sources said.
Meanwhile, COPE has ordered Mahendran and members of the Monetary Board to appear for an inquiry this week.