COPE Meetings Are Temporarily Halted Until Issues Pertaining to Chairman Are Resolved: Speaker Informs Parliament

November 17, 2023

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is set to remain dormant until pertinent issues surrounding its chairman, Prof. Ranjith Bandara, are effectively addressed, announced Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena today.

The Speaker's decision comes in the wake of persistent concerns raised by opposition Members of Parliament (MPs), who urged the removal of COPE Chairman Prof. Ranjith Bandara from his position. The issues at the heart of the controversy include alleged secret hand gestures made by Bandara during sessions focusing on Sri Lanka Cricket, the presence of his son at COPE committee sessions, and Bandara's past involvement with Sri Lanka Cricket as a Consultant in 2018. The latter has been flagged as a potential conflict of interest.

The opposition MPs contend that these controversies compromise the credibility and impartiality of COPE in its role of scrutinizing various public enterprises, including Sri Lanka Cricket.

Prof. Ranjith Bandara's alleged secret hand gestures during COPE sessions on Sri Lanka Cricket have stirred debate, with concerns raised over the potential impact on the committee's integrity. Additionally, questions surrounding the presence of his son during committee sessions and his prior consultancy role with Sri Lanka Cricket have fueled assertions of conflict of interest.