The UNP has requested Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to remove former UNP MP and now UPFA Minister Rohitha Bogollagama from the chairmanship of the parliamentary watchdog on public enterprises?COPE.
The party`s Parliamentary group that met on Wednesday had decided that Bogollagama, appointed COPE Chairman, when he was member of the UNP, was not in a position to hold that post after his defection, a letter addressed to the Speaker and signed by the Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Samarasinghe, said.
The letter said: `When the UNP came to power in 2001, the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in accordance with Parliamentary traditions decided to hand over the chairmanships of the two most important Parliamentary committees to the Opposition. The incumbent government too followed the same traditions when it came to power in 2004.
Accordingly, Rohitha Bogollagama, who was then in the Opposition, was appointed the Chairman of the COPE. The UNP parliamentary group that met on Wednesday (7) decided that Bogollagama, who later joined the Government and has accepted a ministry portfolios, cannot continue in that position.`
Samarasinghe has requested that the Speaker take action to remove Bogollagama from that post and to reconvene the Parliamentary Select Committee to appoint an MP of the Opposition to the post.