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News Room : KOICA ICT Laboratory for students from vulnerable community in Matara Technical College area – The Island


By Saman Indrajith

Opposition and SJB Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday urged Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to reveal how the latter would ensure that there would be no conflict of interest if Prof Ranjith Bandara was allowed to remain as the Chairman of the COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) because he had professional links to the Sri Lanka Cricket.

Raising a privilege issue, Premadasa said that allowing Prof Bandara to remain as the Chairman of the COPE, during its investigations inot the SLC, had led to conflict of interest.Premadasa said Prof. Bandara had failed to reval his former affiliations with the SLC. Tabling several documents,

Premadasa said that they contained evidence to prove that Prof. Bandara had served as a consultant for SLC on the Kandy Cricket Campus project, apart from another consultancy firm, Colombo School of Business and Management owned by Prof. Bandara, providing its services to the SLC.

Premadasa demanded to know 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 connections to SLC, and continued to act as the COPE Chairman despite this possible conflict of interest.

The Opposition Leader also raised the matter of Prof Bandara’s son Kanishka Bandara participating in the recent COPE meeting with SLC.

Premadasa questioned how the son of an MP had been allowed to sit at a COPE meeting, while restrictions had been imposed on him, the Opposition Leader, by the COPE Chairman during a previous meeting. “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, as Parliament officials, do about it? I would like you to answer my question 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 Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Speaker Abeywardena said an investigation would be carried out over the participation of Kanishka Bandara at the COPE meeting with the SLC.

Speaker Abeywardena said that no outsider was allowed to participate in COPE meetings. Kanishka Bandara was allowed to participate as he had informed the Parliament authorities that he was the coordinating secretary of COPE Chairman Prof. Ranjith Bandara.