15 November, 2018

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An Open Letter Urging The President And The Party Leaders To Enact A “Recovery Of Proceeds Of Crime Act”

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Dear Mr. President and Leaders of Political Parties,

The citizens and civil society are most grateful to Reverend Athureliye Rathana Thero, for leading the ‘Pivithuru Hetak’ ( For a Just & Fair Society Tomorrow) Movement, in the development of the National Policy statement ‘Rata Gatha Yuthu Maga’: which programme  has as one of its cornerstones, the assurance of good governance and a corruption free society in Sri Lanka.

Reverend Athureliye Rathana Thero, articulates that such an environment be made possible in Sri Lanka by

  • The reestablishment of the key public institutions, and these being made independent, capability resourced and  empowered, as envisaged under the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, and subsequently replaced by the unwarranted provisions of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution;
  • Re-establishing an Effective Constitutional Council, to ensure that independent and capable persons, with proven track records, are appointed to key office in public institutions and in key executive positions;
  • Ensure disclosure of information by the Executive and empower every citizen to have a right of access to any required information;
  • Introduce Acts to investigate and prosecute bribery and corruption and for the fulfilment of the commitments and obligations under the UN Convention Against Corruption. The Bribery and Corruption Investigation Commission should in addition, not limit its functions to responding to the complaints, but should function as a multi-disciplinary Anti-corruption & Economic Crimes Investigating and Prosecuting Agency, and as such be empowered to investigate and prosecute all types of large scale corruption and economic crimes, applicable, with equal force to both public and private sectors.

In the fulfilment of the above noteworthy objectives of essential good governance and anti- corruption goals, the citizens and civil society ieve, it is necessary and essential, in addition, that the Government in due collaboration with the Opposition parties in the legislature to take early steps to enact a law for the due “Recovery of Proceeds of Crime”.

In the wake of some recent experiences, judicial pronouncements, public campaigns and civil society advocacy, the three arms of the State, comprising of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, as well as the Private Sector, the Media and Civil Society as a whole,  should no doubt agree and resolve that there is yet  a further significant lacunae in the currently applicable legislative framework, in protecting the interests of victims of crime and the citizens and society at large, especially in restoring stolen / defrauded property illegally taken away from victims, the State and Private Business via;

1. Mega Crimes linked to State Property and State Revenue and Expenditure linked frauds,

2. Bribery and Corruption linked Crimes associated with State Contracts, including frauds and crimes connected with Infrastructure Development and Procurements Contracts of the State and State Authorities / Corporations,

3. Mega Corporate Crimes, involving Finance & Banking, Insurance, Investments, Commodity Trading, Infrastructure/ Natural Resource Development businesses as well as Agricultural and Industrial Technology / Innovations linked business entities,

4. Crimes connected with the operation of unauthorized deposit taking institutions, ponzi schemes, and connected frauds etc,

5. Crimes associated with Illegal money lending, Pawn Brokering, gems and jewellery businesses,

6. Computer / Cyber Crimes,

7. Crimes connected with the importation, manufacture, processing and distribution of Narcotics, Drugs and Dangerous Substances and harmful chemicals, items of food, drinks and medicines unfit for human /animal consumption,

8. Smuggling and Export, Import and Transhipment of prohibited fauna, flora, rare and medicinal plants, fish and live animals, antiques, books, manuscripts, ola leaf manuscripts, and heritage linked valuable items etc,

9. Crimes connected with illegal forestry, logging and timber exploitation and trading,

10. Crimes connected with illegal gemming, exploitation of metals and mineral resources,

11.  Crimes connected with illegal property transactions, and fraudulent land acquisitions and transfers of land and immovable property,

12. Crimes connected with illegal casino operations, gambling, betting, horse racing and lotteries,

13. Crimes connected with onshore and offshore illegal exploitation of natural resources, fisheries and aquatic resources, mineral and other resources,

14. Crimes connected with money laundering,

15. Crimes linked to Terrorism, including crimes committed by the LTTE, their leaders and agents now living in Sri Lanka or overseas. 

Any persons who have engaged in above mentioned crimes, frauds and illegal activities, must not only be brought within the rule of law by the law enforcement and justice processes of the State, but equally importantly, should be duly subjected to effective legal provisions, law enforcements and judicial processes, to recover the proceeds of such crimes and frauds, which have enriched such criminals and fraudsters, their families, cronies and network associates.

Terrorism, war and conflict having subjected this nation and its people over a thirty year period, to criminal elements associated with such activities, any persons connected with such criminal actions, whether currently living in Sri Lanka or overseas, where they have enriched themselves in the process, should also be pursued and be held accountable to the state; and any proceeds of such crimes that they may have been enriched themselves, their families and associates must be duly recovered. Such action must pave the way for specific recovery of any available assets of LTTE, their leaders and agents in Sri Lanka and overseas. All such property (including gold, jewellery, investments and bank deposits) recovered by the State and its agents must be restored to their legitimate owners and/or their legal heirs, along with any such assets as since recovered during and after the end of the war, by the state, the military, state authorities, Banks and their agents.

It is therefore earnestly urged that the Government, the Opposition and the Executive must collectively take the initiative, as a natural extension to the legislation now proposed for adoption for the protection of victims of crime and witnesses, as well as those action steps articulated by Reverend Athureliye, to enact at the earliest, a comprehensive “RECOVERY OF PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT”.

The Government, the Opposition and the Executive may for the above purpose bench mark the proposed Sri Lanka enactment on “RECOVERY OF PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT” with the Australian, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 No. 85, 2002 as amended, http://www.comlaw.gov.au/details/c2013c00113

It should be stressed that such an act should enable the victims, of crimes committed by corporate entities, state officials ,groups of individuals, and individuals, (including the LTTE, their leaders and agents now living in Sri Lanka), to be held retrospectively accountable for the such crimes and successfully pave the way for specific recovery of any available assets of the perpetrators of such crimes, and the restoration of such property recovered, (along with such asset, as since already recovered by the state, military and state authorities and their agents) with the legitimate owners who were the victims of such crime.

With most political parties represented in the current Parliament being in agreement with the proposals of the ‘Pithuru Hetak’ Movement and sentiments promoting Good Governance and Anti Corruption action being specified in the Mahinda Chinthanaya and in Parliamentary statements of leading Ministers, the recommendation made above for the early enactment of a “RECOVERY OF PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT” should have the support of a majority of stakeholders required for such enactment.

Chandra Jayaratne

Distribution;

President Mahinda Rajapaksa

The Speaker of Parliament,

The Leader of the House,

The Leader of the Opposition,

The Party Leaders Represented in the Parliament,

Senior Minister of Good Governance & Infrastructure,

Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation,

Reverend Athureliye Rathhana, “Pivithuru Hetak” Movement

Chairpersons, COPE and COPA,

Minister of Justice,

Secretary to the President,

Secretary, Ministry of Justice  & Law Reforms,

Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning,

Secretary, Ministry of Defense,

Secretary Ministry of Law & Order,

Attorney General,

President, Bar Association of Sri Lanka,

Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    JHU proposals are excellent I thought. If the govt does not give reassurances the support should be taken away.

    Rajapaske looks a bit rattled. The internal polling perhaps suggest UNP is a head.

    This is a good time for the hangers on to get what they want.

    • 1
      0

      Vibhushana,

      Do you think the JHU will quit the UPFA and the government, if their proposals are rejected? They will find the formula to hoodwink the people and stay. They will be poor and lost souls sans the UPFA and MR. Can they exist without the gravy train?

      Dr.RN

    • 1
      0

      Dear Mr. Chandra Jayaratne –

      RE: An Open Letter Urging The President And The Party Leaders To Enact A “Recovery Of Proceeds Of Crime Act

      Chandra, when will you write to the People a Common sense Pamphlet, just like Thomas Paine did for the Americans in 1776?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Still Waiting. Just Do It!, as Nike Company says.

      Best Motivational Video – Be Phenomenal [HD]

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzhzkKccBi8

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5

  • 2
    0

    Dear sir, Chandra Jayarathna.

    “Any persons who have engaged in above mentioned crimes, frauds and illegal activities,
    must not only be brought within the rule of law by the law enforcement and justice processes of the State”,

    First of all The RATA GATHA UTHU MAGA CANOT IMPLIMENT AS ;

    There is “No law enforcement and justice processes of this State”, the Miracle Chinthana Island of the Asia.
    And, Most of your this so called Distribution Network

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa,The Speaker of Parliament,The Leader of the House,The Party Leaders Represented in the Parliament,
    Senior Minister of Good Governance & Infrastructure,
    Senior Minister of International Monetary Cooperation,
    Minister of Justice, Secretary to the President,
    Secretary, Ministry of Justice & Law Reforms,
    Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Planning,
    Secretary, Ministry of Defence,
    Secretary Ministry of Law & Order,
    Attorney General, Cheap Justice, most of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and some appointed goons and I R Cs by the President and his clan
    are Pilfering thieves who are corrupt to the core.

    Are We expecting a fair deal from these Hyenas.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Jayaratne,

    Do you think criminals and thieves will enact laws to entrap themselves or rats to make a trap in which they will be caught! A good idea no doubt, but absolutely impractical at this point in our political history. ” It takes a thief to catch a thief” may be true, but we have yet to identify the thief who can turn tables on his ever growing tribe of great thieves.I hope such a one will be born soon.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 1
    0

    Excellent ideas Mr Jayaratne. The article by Tisaranee Gunasekera in CT says it all.

  • 0
    0

    If the present govt does not take any action this should be the policy of the common candidate
    Vas

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