Former Chairman of the Committee on Public Enterprises Sunil Handunnetti says the recent statement by the Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board before COPE, and then his rebuttal cannot be taken lightly.
At a COPE hearing on Friday, CEB Chairman MMC Ferdinando claimed that the President had informed him that the Indian Prime Minister is pressurizing him to award the Mannar Wind and Solar Power project to an Indian entity.
Following a clarification issued by the President, the CEB Chairman then apologized over the comments he made at the COPE committee and said due to unforeseen pressure and emotions he was compelled to mention the word Indian Prime Minister which is totally incorrect.
Former COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti said CEB Chairman MMC Ferdinando who is well aware of Parliamentary proceedings cannot make such irresponsible statements.
He said Ferdinando has appeared before COPE on previous occasions and is well aware of his responsibilities.
Handunnetti said CEB Chairman MMC Ferdinando’s evidence regarding the Mannar Wind and Solar Power project is also in writing.
He said therefore the CEB Chairman cannot make the same assertion on two different occasions, even if authorities are to believe that he made a mistake during the COPE hearing.
Former Parliamentarian Handunnetti said it is a violation of the Parliamentary privilege of MPs as well as an attempt to deceive the public.
He said therefore the Speaker of House or the Secretary to the Ministry of Finance must make a statement on the matter promptly.