COPE probe reaches positive stage - COPE Chairman
The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has reached a positive
stage with regard to the investigation on the Central Bank Bond issue,
COPE Chairman MP Sunil Handunetti said.
The Auditor General's report to COPE has revealed that there were
certain financial irregularities in the Central Bank's Treasury Bond
issue, he said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.
The Committee has since decided to summon former governor Arjuna
Mahendran, officials of the Central Bank and all those involved in the
Bond issue as well.
He declined to give an exact time frame for the conclusion of the
probe, saying it was a rather complex national problem. Evidence has
emerged regarding the Bond issue and it has to be probed. COPE has
decided to proceed with an investigation based on the Auditor General's
The Auditor General handed over copies of a concise Report to all
members when COPE met at the Parliamentary Complex for a special
meeting. This detailed Report containing 1252 pages also includes
sensitive information on CB transactions and information on individuals.
The concise Report contains a total of 196 pages.
However, some COPE members were also of the view that the Report
submitted by the Auditor General to the Committee should also be
forwarded to the Monetary Board. He rejected claims that there was
political interference in the work carried out by COPE.
He also refuted reports that COPE members were divided over the
Central Bank Bond issue.
"This is simply not true. Seventeen out of the 26 members of the
Committee were present at last meeting. The UNP, UPFA JVP, Joint
Opposition and TNA were represented at the meeting for about two hours
and all members of the COPE committee have accepted Auditor General's
He said that whoever has misused public funds should be brought to
book. He stressed the COPE Committee will take its own decision on the
"If wrongdoers in the higher echelons are not properly dealt with
whether in the present or the previous government, COPE will not
hesitate to initiate action against them,"he said.
COPE will meet again on July 5 to discuss the Report and to summon
Central Bank officials and Members of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka on
July 7 with regard to the Treasury Bond issue.