MP Harshana Rajakaruna told Parliament yesterday that his phone conversation with PTL owner Arjun Aloysius was in January 2015, long before he became a parliamentarian.
He said Mr. Aloysius was a family friend. "Mr. Aloysius' grandfather was a close friend of my father and they had known each other even before I was born. I have also known Mr. Aloysius since my childhood," the MP said.
He said as a COPE member, he had not discussed any matter pertaining to the investigations with Mr. Aloysius. "You have to forget friendships and relationships when you are a member of the COPE. This is why we all signed the COPE report and agreed with the recommendations made in it," the MP said and added that there was a sinister move to sling mud at the COPE members.
"These kinds of allegations might be made even against government members, because of the new political culture based on transparency, under the President and the Prime Minister. Therefore we are grateful to both of them for nurturing such a culture," the MP said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)