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Presentation at a meeting on the COPE Report arranged by Transparency International, Sri Lanka,  January 26th 2012
The First Report of the Committee on Public Enterprises of the Seventh Parliament has drawn much attention of a favourable sort. The speed with which the Report was issued, and the number of institutions which it covers, comprehensively and incisively, was seen as unusual, and a possible precursor to a better exercise of Parliamentary powers of oversight than we had seen in the recent past.

The principal credit for this must go to the Chairman, the Hon DEW Gunasekara, who chaired the Committee with inclusive dedication. But I think, as indicated by his suggestion that I be asked to represent him at this discussion, that he would also highlight the role of Liberal principles which I was able to bring to bear on the work and the attitudes of the Committee.

The first problem which we resolved was that of having to deal with a vast number of institutions, only a few of which had been covered each year in the past. The solution was obvious, and I could not understand, when I suggested that we divide into sub-committees, why no one seemed to have thought of it previously, when the work of the Committee had expanded. Perhaps the explanation lay in the objection of one of those members who had specialized in criticism in the past, that it was necessary for the Committee to function as a whole.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

January 2012
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