Opposition Leader Sajith Primadasa said he strongly condemn the not releasing the video footages of the statements made by former CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando at the COPE meeting on Thursday (23) to the media.
Premadasa said neither COPE nor its Chairman has the power to censor such information to the public and the media and that the public and the media have a right to know that information.
“It is suspicious as to why the statements of Ferdinando at COPE cannot be disclosed to the public. The public has a right to know about it,” he added.
Premadasa alleged the concealment of such information portray that the Government led by the President has entered into a number of secret agreements with multinational corporations in the recent past.
Meanwhile, JVP Politburo member and former COPE Chairman, Sunil Handunnetti, said if COPE members are concealing video footage of a meeting, it is more serious than the statement made by the former CEB Chairman.
Handunnetti made this remark following the controversy which erupted after COPE decided to postpone releasing the full video of the special committee meeting on Thursday (23) in which former CEB Chairman Ferdinando testified for the second time.
Speaking to Ceylon Today on Friday (24), Handunnetti said if video footage cannot be made public, then there is something to hide.
The decision to give a live stream was made because citizens need transparency. Parliamentary matters cannot be shrouded in secrecy, he said.
“We even found out about the things that were hidden from Parliament by the Central Bank. COPE is the place where people can find out what happens to their money. If they are hiding things, something strange is going on. When I was the COPE Chairman, I started giving live broadcasts as I did not want to conceal anything. People are longing to know what has been hidden for so long,” he said.
“If they are hiding things, there is something big behind this,” he alleged.
BY Kanchana Kolagolla and Aloka Kasturiarachchi