WATCH : COPE committee will not be open for media in the future – Govt

The Government has decided that the proceedings of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) will not be open for media in the future.

Chief Government Whip Johnston Fernando informed the decision in Parliament today.

“We noticed that video footage of the COPE meetings was being used by media channels to attack the former President and Prime Minister. Various officials were also brought in using their powers to attain their political agendas. It is beneficial for us to reveal all the malpractices after 2015. But certain media are editing the footage to promote their political agendas’, he said.

Minister Fernando further said that the Government has taken the decision to close the COPE proceedings for media to protect Government officials and former officials.

“We will not give false information to the media. The public rejected such activities with a 2/3rd majority in the past. We will not recommence such actions rejected by the public”, he said.

Responding to Minister Fernando, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP and COPE committee member Nalin Bandara said that the Government has announced that the media will be prevented from attending COPE proceedings, at a time when the Chairman of the committee Professor Charitha Herath had announced that a decision in this regard will be taken next week.

“A decision in this regard has to be drawn by the Chairman of the COPE committee and not the Chief Government Whip. This is considered as coercion of the Chairman of the COPE committee. It is evident that the Government has already drawn a decision in this regard’, he added.

In response, Minister Johnston Fernando said that the decision was taken following a discussion during the Party Leaders meeting, adding that MP Nalin Bandara was not present at the meeting. (NewsWire)


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