Only five members have so far informed parliament in writing that they have resigned from COPE, a spokesman said.

They are Dilan Perera, Duminda Dissanayake, Eran Wickramaratne, S.M. Marikkar and Prof. Charitha Herath.

In addition, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Wasantha Yapa Bandara, Shanakiyan Rasamanickam, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Gamini Waleboda and Hesha Vithanage have told the House they would step down as COPE members.

The parliament spokesman said their resignations are not valid until they tender their resignation letters.

All these members have resigned in a show of protest against SLPP’s Rohitha Abeygunawardena being chairman of the committee.

The spokesman said the opposition leader’s office was yet to respond to a request to appoint new members in place of them.

The 31-member COPE originally had 19 government and 12 opposition members.

At present, the opposition is represented by eight members only.

Parliament sources said a minimum of five members is enough for the quorum of the committee.



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