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Oct 22, 2016

COPE faces internal division over bond issue report

The COPE is facing an internal division with regard to the report it is due to submit into the Central Bank bond issues.

At yesterday’s (20) meeting of the committee, the arguments between the opposing sides went on from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm.

UNP members – Sujeewa Senasinghe, Harshana Rajakaruna, Ajith P. Perera, Ashok Abeysinghe and Harsha de Silva – said they wanted changes made to two matters contained in the report.

They have argued it was not wrong for ex-CB governor Arjun Mahendran to go for the bond issues and that it was not a decision taken by him alone.

Therefore, no loss had occurred from the bond issues, they maintained.

The opponents – Sunil Handunnetti, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Nalinda Jayatissa, Lasantha Alagiyawanne and Bimal Ratnayake – said the auditor general’s report noted it was an authoritarian decision and it was a conflict of interest when Mahendran’s son-in-law Arjun Aloysius’s Perpetual Treasuries got involved.

The COPE meeting continued today too.

Their final report is due to be tabled in parliament on October 25.

The JVP, to which COPE chairman Handunnetti belongs, maintains a serious financial fraud had taken place in the bond issue.

The AG’s report says a loss of Rs. 1,670 million could have been avoided.

The prime minister insists no fraud or irregularity had taken place.

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