Queries on COPE investigations, Arjuna Mahendran and punishment raised at SLFP briefing

Queries on COPE investigations, Arjuna Mahendran and punishment raised at SLFP briefing

Written by Lahiru Fernando

07 Jul, 2016 | 8:34 pm

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party convened a media briefing at the party headquarters on Thursday. During the briefing, views were expressed regarding a recent Joint Opposition meeting held in Badulla.  State Minister of Science Technology and Research Lakshman Seneviratne, speaking on the issue said:

Leave aside something commencing from Badulla – Badulla is a place where lots of things concluded in the past. We call on our party members and the district not to divide. There are numerous instances in the past that we can learn from”

Among the topics which were spoken at the briefing was the next presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party for an upcoming presidential election.

A journalist questioned SLFP media spokesperson Minister Dilan Perera on a meeting which was held on Wednesday, July 6, under the patronage of Chandrika and other members. The meeting was not allowed to be covered by the media. Following is the conversation which followed:

Answer: (Min. Dilan Perera): I saw it in the papers. As the media spokesperson of the SLFP I think this meeting was a party held by Chandrika Kumaratunga with her closest allies.

Question: (Journalist): Were you not invited?

A: If it was a party held by Chandrika Kumaratunga with her closest allies, how will I be invited?

Q : Are you not a close ally?

A : I am a obedient follower: but not an ally

Q: Isn’t a follower more valuable than an ally

A: You need to ask that from her…

A journalist then questioned the minister on the SLFP’s response to members of the COPE suddenly resigning and the possibility of Sujeewa Senasinghe being appointed to the position.

“It was the COPE that carried out the main task in the investigation pertaining to the (former) Governor of the Central Bank. This is done to increase opinion of the UNP. How will the SLFP respond to this?”

Minister Dilan Perera responded thus:

The parties decide who will be appointed and who will not be appointed. It was the UNP’s decision to remove Velukumar and appoint Sujeewa Senasinghe. That is a decision of the party.”

Minister Perera noted that no wrong-doer has been punished through the judicial process following a COPE investigation. He stated that if it is brought to a situation where Arjuna Mahendran is punished, Sunil Handunnetti could come forward as the next presidential candidate.


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