Sri Lanka: Corruption Under the New Govt. is Rampant — US

 ( March 9, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) In its annual country report the State Department of the United States of America observed that “the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, and the government [ of Sri Lanka] began to implement the law effectively but remained constrained by a lack of technical expertise and resources. Officials in various branches of government engaged in corrupt practices, albeit under a heightened level of scrutiny. There were numerous reports of government corruption.”

“Corruption remained an issue,” the report noted. “A parliamentary panel, the Committee on Public Enterprises, launched an investigation against then central bank governor Arjuna Mahendran amid allegations that Mahendran had given his son-in-law insider information and they had both benefited from sovereign bond sales. Mahendran has also been accused of multimillion rupee spending on his government credit card. Mahendran has denied the allegations and an earlier investigation cleared him. The government has yet to take action against Mahendran, despite the parliamentary panel’s conclusion in October that Mahendran acted improperly.”

“The law requires all candidates for parliamentary, local government, provincial, and presidential elections to declare their assets and liabilities to the speaker of parliament. Some candidates in parliamentary elections published their financial reports, but there was no enforcement of the law against those who did not. By law, members of the public may access records relating to the assets and liabilities of elected officials by paying a fee.”

“Public Access to Information: A law passed in June provides for public access to government information, and the law is set to come into effect on February 3, 2017.”

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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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