The Joint Opposition secured two slots in the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) and Public Accounts Committee ( PAC) of Parliament yesterday.
Accordingly, its MPs Prasanna Ranatunga has been nominated to COPE and Mahindananda Aluthgamage to the PAC.
Earlier in the day, its parliamentary group leader Dinesh Gunawardane said Speaker Karu Jayasuriya agreed to appoint them on an earlier occasion, but it was not announced to the House.
Deputy Speaker Tilanga Sumathipala who was presiding at that moment said he would inquire about it and notify the House. By noon, he announced these two appointments.
Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said it was only Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who started the practice of appointing opposition members to chair watchdog committees in the past. He recalled how the then MP the late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was appointed as COPE chairman. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)