Testifying officials must henceforth take an oath – COPE

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Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has decided to take an oath from officials who will be appearing before it in future at the beginning of the Committee session that their statements are accurate and truthful.

This decision was reached following the controversial statement made by former Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman M.C.C. Ferdinando, which nearly sparked a diplomatic dispute between Sri Lanka and India.

Meanwhile, Ferdinando will be summoned before COPE today (22), at 11.00 a.m.

The former CEB Chairman said before COPE recently that the tender for the wind power plant in Mannar had been given to India’s Adani Group as a result of the pressure exerted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After President Rajapaksa categorically denied the statement, Ferdinando withdrew the statement claiming he made the claim due to becoming emotional and it was not accurate.  Ferdinando resigned from the post days after. When COPE convened a special meeting yesterday (21), a letter sent by Ferdinando on 11 June requesting to expunge the respective contents of his testimony was considered.

“Ferdinando will be summoned before the Committee again to hold discussions with him and thereby re-determine the contents of this letter and then take the decision regarding expunging the respective contents of his testimony as requested,” COPE Chairman Dr. Charitha Herath said. It was also decided to hold a special meeting on 25 July based on the expert reports on the progress of SriLankan Airlines.

BY Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake