eran wickkarama rathe

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Eran Wickramaratne has resigned from his position as a member of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE).

Speaking at a press conference yesterday morning (18), Wickramaratne stated that he has handed over the resignation letter to the Speaker of the Parliament.

In his resignation letter, the SJB MP mentions that the duty of the Committee is to report to Parliament on accounts examined, budgets and estimates, financial procedures, performance and management of Corporations and other Government Business Undertakings.

“Even though reports to Parliament have been submitted by COPE from time to time, no credible action has been followed against those who have engaged in corrupt practices or mismanaged. Government has not permitted amendments to Standing Orders allowing COPE to refer matters for investigation and be judicially pursued by direct reference to the relevant authorities including the police, CIABOC and the Attorney General. The public are dismayed at the inefficiencies of COPE”, he added.

He further claims that the previous government adopted a practice of appointing a COPE Chairman who was a member of the Opposition to strengthen the principle that the legislature must be a check and balance on the executive arm of government. “The present government has not upheld that principle by appointing a member of the opposition as Chairman, also contributing to the loss of confidence in Parliament”.

Additionally, Wickramaratne highlighted that it is dissatisfying that members who have been appointed to COPE have allegations against their personal conduct, particularly on financial transactions and that this also contributes to the citizen’s loss of confidence in Parliament. The MP said that therefore he is resigning from membership of COPE with immediate effect.

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