While commending the efforts made by the new Government in addressing past allegations of bribery and corruption, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) urges authorities to expedite their investigations while maintaining the highest standards of transparency and due procedure.
As the country reaches the final staged of the 100 day program, it is important to move forward from investigations to prosecutions followed by convictions according to existing laws, to restore public’s faith in the rule of law and justice.
A number of local anti-corruption agencies have emerged in the post-election period chief of which being the Dushana Virodhi Handa (affiliated to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna) and Dushana Virodhi Peramuna (affiliated to the Jaathika Hela Urumaya). Both entities have handed over a number of complaints to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) in addition to the hundreds of complaints submitted by the general public. The complaints have resulted in the suspension of passports, investigations by the CID and the CIABOC as well as Court action.
It has been brought to the notice of Transparency International Sri Lanka that individuals accused of corruption, financial fraud and misappropriation is wielding their power and accumulated wealth to intimidate those who have pursued corruption related complaints since the establishment of the present government.
It has been reported that certain alleged perpetrators are trying to influence the ongoing processes through intimidation and bribery making use of the long drawn out investigations.
TISL also stresses the need to strengthen the existing avenues for redress against corruption by making the necessary revisions to the Bribery Act and enhancing the CIABOC through resources and stronger mandate. The government should also be mindful of not appointing those alleged with corruption related charges to posts such as Ministers and Ministry Secretaries until they have been cleared of all charges.