By Lionel Bopage –
Good Governance a key challenge Sri Lanka has faced and spectacularly failed to deliver for most of its modern history. This challenge is not only about individuals, but systemic, spread across all spheres: socio-economic, political, judicial, cultural, arts and science. Most countries across the world have also suffered the scourge of corruption, some have succeeded in partially alleviating its pernicious influence; most like Sri Lanka have failed.
In December 2014, the presidential candidate Mr Maithripala Sirisena signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 49 political parties and civil society organisations. This MOU refers to four immediate tasks and additional measures that were to be initiated in the first hundred days since formation of the new government. The first measure to be initiated was:
“immediately prevent, through greater transparency and accountability, the present unprecedented large scale fraud, corruption, bribery and earning of commissions as well as the wastage of public funds; take action according to law to deal with abuses that have been committed.”
At an Anti-Corruption Summit held in London, President Sirisena assured the full commitment of the government of Sri Lanka in taking firm action against corruption. He also added that “corruption was a factor in promoting political and other forms of violence, as evidenced in Sri Lanka during the previous administration”, and that “it was the people, who acted democratically against corruption, by electing new leaders”.
Once in power, President Sirisena appointed a new Director General to the Commission on Bribery and Corruption. In the past, this commission hardly probed any bribery cases due to heavy political interference. Even under the new set up, institutional and political obstacles to effective legal action have been substantial. As evidenced by the President’s displeasure when the Commission brought ex-president’s sons, brothers, particularly the former defence secretary and top officials of the previous regime to court on corruption charges. The President declared that he will have to take action, if the Bribery Commission and the two Police divisions investigating corruption were “working according to a political agenda“, and implied that these agencies were favouring the United National Party. Following his allegations, the new Director General of the Commission on Bribery and Corruption tendered her resignation.
Given corruption is an international phenomenon it requires global solutions. Certain countries have financial institutions with systems designed to accept laundered black money. They are abetted by certain lawyers, accountants and their consulting companies that facilitate such corrupt transactions. It is well-known that firms of wealthy nations offer large bribes to institutions and powerful politicians in many developing countries. Information available on international financial flow indicates that “money is moving from poor to wealthy countries in ways that fundamentally undermine development”.
Corruption and bribery undermines the rule of law, impedes development, and promotes bad governance. Therefore, in any economy the greatest threat to development is endemic corruption. Corruption-free government is believed necessary for the development of a country. Corruption is considered a major challenge to ending extreme poverty by 2030 and achieving the sustainable development goals. According to the World Bank Group, annually about $1 trillion is paid in bribes around the world. The total economic loss is estimated to be many times this. In addition, empirical studies have consistently shown that the poor pay the highest percentage of their income in paying bribes. Every stolen rupee robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life (World Bank, 2016).
Corruption diverts resources towards the corrupt entities and individuals, both in the private and public sectors; and away from the critical services needed such as education, healthcare, drinking water etc. Notoriously crooked leaders continue to enjoy extravagance at the expense of those living in extreme poverty. Transparency International (TI) indicates that five of the ten most corrupt countries also rank among the ten most violent countries in the world. Even in countries where there is no open conflict, the levels of inequality and poverty are extreme. Countries in Northern Europe are found to be the least corrupt. However, it does not mean they have no links to corruption elsewhere in the globe. Half of all OECD countries are found to violate their international obligations to crack down on corrupt activities of their companies abroad.
For the purpose of our discussion here, the terms ‘bribery’ and ‘corruption’ are used interchangeably.
Corruption and Bribery
Corruption is generally defined as abuse of authority for personal and private gain. Corruption includes both offering and taking bribes, civil servants dishonestly using their authority to influence decisions; fraud, blackmail, election bribery and illegal gambling (OTSI, 2010, 4). A bribe is “a sum of money, services etc. given or offered to somebody in return for some, often dishonest help”. A framework based on Corporate Strategic Responsibility (CSR) provides an opportunity to not only curb corruption, but also benefit from managing the level of corruption. The degree of reporting on anti-corruption is a strong indicator of the quality and completeness of an entity’s efforts in addressing bribery and corruption.
According to TI, corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, ‘depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs’. Corruption manifests itself in diverse forms, such as embezzlement through theft of public resources, extortion through threats and intimidations, promoting favouritism, and bribery in the form of kickbacks, gratuities, pay-offs, grease money etc. Bribery is defined as “the act of promising, giving, receiving, or agreeing to receive money or some other item of value with the corrupt aim of influencing a public official in the discharge of his official duties. When money has been offered or promised in exchange for a corrupt act, the official involved need not actually accomplish that act for the offense of bribery to be complete.”
The Anti-Corruption Summit held in London last May was intended to deal with major global corruption issues including secrecy in the movement of money around the financial system, fighting corruption in public contracting, health and sports. Recognising the role of civil society and journalists in anti-corruption work, a commitment was made to see that governments provide them with greater protection. Despite forty countries signing up to general principles and a global declaration, with some countries making specific country commitments, many major economies did not make serious commitments like Brazil and China.
Corruption in Sri Lanka
TI has rated Sri Lanka very high in its Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Successive Sri Lankan regimes including the current one, have demonstrated their disregard and/or purposeful sabotage of any effective established frameworks to fight corruption. The law enforcement mechanisms in Sri Lanka itself appear corrupt. Successive governments have come to power pledging during the elections to eradicate bribery and corruption; in spite of this, corruption has penetrated the public sector from top to bottom. Despite some media sources exposing corruption scandals at times, authorities have not even bothered to respond to the allegations. In Sri Lanka, for a citizen, resident or a visitor to get anything done, it is credibly alleged that some form of monetary inducement is essential. Nepotism and cronyism prevail in making appointments to government and state-owned institutions. Certain sources have also described the procedure for prosecution on corruption charges is mostly difficult.
Corruption is endemic. Such instances include getting a child admitted to a school, for a person being investigated to be treated leniently, for getting an application processed at a reasonable time, for winning contracts, for taking part in or securing a win in certain sports, for saving life during the times of enforced disappearances, etc., the need to pay a ransom has become the common experience. For six decades, major political parties have been engaged in corrupt practices and bribing voters during election times by distributing food parcels, dry rations and liquor, and more recently applications for jobs, housing and bank loans, cement bags, zinc and asbestos sheets, and sil redhi. These political parties have vastly contributed to making these corrupt practices reach the Olympian heights it has now reached.
In 2014 and 2015 the situation in Sri Lanka was quite similar to the above. In 2012 the CPI for Sri Lanka was 40 out of 100, in 2014 it was 38, and in 2015 it was 37. It ranked 91 among 177 in 2013, 85 among 175 in 2014, and 83 among 168 in 2015. Despite the marginal improvement shown during this period, the CPI of Sri Lanka for 2016 has worsened to 95 among 176 countries.
According to recent reports there are some 750,000 court cases pending in the lower courts of the Sri Lankan judiciary. The regime or its judicial bureaucracy do not appear to be interested in taking measures to expedite these cases. Legal redress is also expensive. There are many cases of land disputes running close to half a century and suspects are held with no charges for many years under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. One can say that this is a corrupt system designed to make more money at the expense of the poor. Judicial corruption has also placed the regime in an uncomfortable situation internationally. At the UNHRC, the regime conceded that the people have lost trust and confidence in the justice system. Thus the Sri Lankan regime had to agree to set up a judicial mechanism with international dimension to try serious crimes committed against humanity.
It is safe to say that corruption has become a way of life in Sri Lanka, not only at the level of politicians and bureaucrats, but also at the grassroots level. Therefore, the political will at the highest levels of government to rectify the issues has been almost non-existent. Whenever charges of corruption have been laid, more often than not the cases do not succeed. In this environment, blatant and grand scale corruption and financial crimes carried out with impunity under the previous regime, does not only continue, but has reached new heights under the new dispensation.
Management of Corruption in Sri Lanka
If we cannot eliminate corruption given its deep entrenchment in the last six decades or so; we need to at least try and stop its exponential growth. At an individual level, there are people who at a high personal cost to themselves, do not engage in corruption. If as individuals offering and accepting bribes can be refused, and in work situations authority is not used to dishonestly influence decisions through fraud and blackmail, ultimately one could hold onto a good conscience of being ‘free of corruption’. This is an extremely difficult task given that certain professional organisations and individuals in the capitalist set up, assist those corrupt entities and individuals to hide without trace, their nefarious activities.
Bribery had been made a punishable offence in Sri Lanka under the Penal Code since 1883. In 1954, the Bribery Act was enacted to contain bribery in Public Service. In 1958, the Act No.40 established the Bribery Commissioner’s Department under the Ministry of Justice, as the main body responsible for investigating corruption allegations brought to its attention and instituting proceedings. In 1994, the Act no.19 created the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). It commenced its activities in December 1994, but it had no noticeable effect on the level of corruption. However, the CIABOC appears to have failed to conduct a credible and independent investigation into complaints made against it in the Supreme Court. The CIABOC was compelled to do so, when Supreme Court directed it to initiate an inquiry into one such complaint as expeditiously as possible.
Sri Lanka has ratified the UN Anti-Corruption Convention. It also signed the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, but did not ratify it. Sri Lanka is also a signatory to the OECD-ADB Anti-Corruption Regional Plan. In February 2015, the government established the Financial Investigation Division (FCID) for investigating major financial crimes, frauds, unsolicited mega projects, major financial crimes against public property, money laundering, terrorist financing, illegal financial transactions, unlawful enrichments and offences on financial crimes against national security.
Despite, being generally considered to have adequate laws and regulations to combat corruption, the Country Report of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor indicated that corruption exists in the executive and legislative branches of the government. When previous regimes used anti-terrorism legislation to gag debates on corruption, the governance system degenerated. Even those who were usually critical of such issues became extremely silent on the issue. Concerns were raised at the time about promoting police officers accused of bribery, corruption and fraud. Yet, when all police promotions were later revealed to had been carried out on the President’s advice everybody went silent. Overseas firms identified corruption as a constraint on foreign investment, though it was not considered a major threat to operating in the country, at least once a contract was won.
Social Bribes and Growth of Corruption
Effective anti-corruption measures such as right to information, whistle blower protection and witness protection are needed to be in place to control corruption. Recently enacted Right to Information Act remain to be tested in practice to ascertain whether it would ensure access to information to all stakeholders in a timely manner and in sufficient detail. Elimination of corruption in the public sector requires CIABOC to have adequate human and infrastructure resources, be more independent and empowered.
The causes and effects of corruption and the strategies to prevent it have been in the agenda of government policy makers for a very long time (Hoi and Lin, 2012). Historically governments have t been more powerful than business corporations, and could regulate the limits to the exploitation by corporations. However, it is a changed world now, where globalisation and corporatisation are predominant. Currently the neo-liberal urge for lower production costs to maximise profits drives the globalisation trend. So lower costs of labour, raw materials, logistics have become the prime driver. Consumerism heightened by artificially created demand underpins this neo-liberal trend. This process has swallowed up entire societies including most politicians. Those who could inject capital investments have become to govern all aspects of politics. Bribery and corruption have become one of the central tools in manipulating governments, its systems and politicians.
To elicit investment, national governments have to offer inducements to large transnational corporations such as guaranteed rates of return, viability gap financing, tax exemptions, free land for projects, publicly developed infrastructure and opportunities for capital gains and immunity from labour laws in Free Trade Zones (FTZ), or Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Abolition of long-term capital gains tax exempts them from paying taxes on gains they make from stock-market speculation. These demands from large transnational corporations are becoming increasingly aggressive, for instance, the demands for zero taxation in FTZs and SEZs and exemptions from paying corporate income tax for manufacturing as a whole.
Simultaneously, offering tax concessions and other perks make national governments lose their revenue. Thus, funds available for spending on public education, public health, healthcare including sanitation and rural infrastructure become less. The marginalised are increasingly compelled to seek private sources to fulfil their educational and healthcare needs. So, people start paying high prices for such services. National governments are compelled to turn to financial agencies, who are in turn funded by large transnational corporations. Those agencies start offering assistance packages conditional to carrying out structural reforms. Hence, national governments impose measures to further reduce welfare provisions and introduce a user pays system, which penalises the poor.
At the same time, business corporations and local regimes have become experts not only at manufacturing consent, but also in manipulating dissent. So, corrupt cronies donate generously to programs led by major political parties, and in turn the campaigns of such political parties receive huge ICT backing. Thus, civil society needs to become aware of this fact, and then they will be able to pre-empt efforts to derail the anti-corruption movement from within.
From the above discussion, it is clear that corruption is not simply a moral question – it is also political. It requires concerted attention of governments and business firms, particularly in the developed world. Successful anti-corruption efforts need to be led by the joint efforts of both private and public sectors and the public – including politicians, senior public officials, citizens, communities, and civil society organisations. For this to succeed, capable, transparent, and accountable institutions need to be developed at the national, regional and global level to build, design and implement anticorruption programs.
Corruption thrives because those who are corrupt intimidate and or deceive the general public by manipulating information. Both business corporations and governments extensively spin or frame information to manage perceptions. On many occasions, they have managed to convince the public not to question their bribery, corruption and unethical practices. Hence, educating ourselves to be vigilant is essential. When police officers ask for bribes to perform routine services, when tender boards unfairly and unethically determine the winners of government contracts, when public officials make awards favouring their friends or relatives, or when employees who are simply paid for signing on a register and hanging around idly, they must be exposed. It is an essential task for civic society.
This also requires a paradigm change in the orientation and mechanisms used for both growth and governance. This struggle needs to be directed not only against mega financial swindles like the Central Bank scam and other macro issues, but also against micro-level corruption that is all-pervasive in everyday life. This is an uphill task given the insidious way corruption has infected every layer of society and institutions both in the public and private sectors in Sri Lanka.
The working people of Sri Lanka, and civil society organisations need to undertake this responsibility. Given the circumstances, only they can gather the courage, commitment, strength and momentum to fight the aggressive policies of large business corporations. Working people have to counter corruption starting at micro level against specific corrupt and fraudulent practices at their own work places. Fighting corrupt onslaughts of capital needs to establish participative democracy at work places. Yet, this could happen only with a major qualitative social transformation. If processes are transparent and open, corrupt practices become exposed, which makes it easier to manage, control and finally eliminate it. Hence the broad people’s movement must become the backbone against corruption. The working people needs to become the most organised contingent to fight against the corrupt onslaught.
So, it becomes our responsibility to demand the confiscating of properties politicians and bureaucrats have corruptly acquired, and banning corporate lobbying. The working people needs to demand the establishment of effective anti-corruption legislation and a credible institutional mechanism to prosecute and punish the guilty. The people also needs to demand maintaining an open register of the entities that utilises black money in their business transactions using initiatives such as Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with other states. The black money already stashed in foreign tax havens need to brought back for public investments. The black money hidden locally should be found and confiscated, and those involved in such scams including those in the bureaucracy and professional entities need to brought to justice.
To quote “Unmask the Corrupt”:
Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished. It concerns millions of victims around the world. It’s time the corrupt face the consequences for their crimes. Together we can make that happen!
 A Common People’s Agenda For Just, Democratic And People-Friendly Governance: http://srilankabrief.org/2014/12/mou-common-peoples-agenda-just-democratic-people-friendly-governance/
 In addition, when the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police probed the allegations against military intelligence, several military intelligence officers were remanded regarding certain cases of disappearances and killings (including the 2010 abduction of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and the suspicious 2012 death of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen) that occurred during and after the final stages of the war. The Rajapaksa’s were critical of the regime for these arrests. The current President also weighed in and most of the suspects, Rajapaksas and army intelligence officials who had been in remand custody, were released from custody.
 For example, 70 percent of the Angolan population lives on USD 2 a day or less. One in six children dies before the age of five. More than 150,000 children die each year. However, Forbes consider that Angola’s President’s daughter, Isabel dos Santos is the richest woman not only in Angola, but also the whole of Africa.
 For example, Sweden is the third in the index; however, the Swedish-Finnish firm TeliaSonera is alleged to have paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure business in Uzbekistan, which comes in at 153rd in the index. At the same time, half of all OECD countries are found to violate their international obligations to crack down on bribery by their companies abroad.
 Transparency International, 2015. Archive Link. Retrieved from: http://archive.transparency.org/news_room/faq/corruption_faq
 OTSI, 2010. Fraud and Corruption Prevention Strategy. The Office of Transport Safety. Retrieved from: www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/access-to-info/OTSI-FraudStrategy.pdf
 Acts ‘committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good’.
 ‘Everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid-level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments and other agencies.’
 Manipulation of ‘policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth’.
 Such as state officials stealing from the public institutions where they are employed, or regime leaders stealing from the treasury. In Indonesia, when Suharto was in power, he allegedly embezzled up to $US35 billion from the country (Hodess, Robin, Tania Inowlocki, Diana Rodriguez, and Toby Wolfe, eds. 2004. Global corruption report. London: Pluto Press).
 When the rule of law is weak, this may be carried out by mafia groups blackmailing state officials, or certain state officials threatening to take sort of punitive action.
 Disposition to favour and promote the interest of one person or persons to the disregard of others having equal claims. Privatisation, exploitation of natural resources, regulations provide ample opportunities to play favourites and extract personal gains. Nepotism is another form of favouritism, for example, hiring and promotion of individuals based on family or other personal relations rather than merit. In the public sector, this may take the form of authority to hire or promote someone, thus the person abusing authority benefitting from it, although not necessarily in monetary terms (Admundsen, Inge. 2000. Corruption: Definitions and concepts. Chr. Michelsen Institute Working Paper).
 Individuals or organisations offering bribes to authorities who can make contracts on behalf of the state or make decisions on using public funds to influence their decisions regarding particular issues.
 The perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents highly corrupt and 100 very clean. See http://www.transparency.org/whatwedo/publication/cpi_2015
 On September 20, the government indicted former Deputy Defence Minister on charges of bribery. Allegations have been levelled against the current Secretary to the Ministry of Defence. At the time, there was no law that provides for public access and retrieval of relevant government information. However, in June 2016, the Parliament enacted the Right to Information (RTI) bill.
 Fabrics Buddhists wear for their religious observations.
 Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka (A/HRC/RES/30/1) at: http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/alldocs.aspx?doc_id=25680
 For example, the Central Bank Bond scam, where the very institution supposed to safeguard Sri Lanka’s finances appears to have been allowed to be robbed.
 The intent of the Act was “to provide for the establishment of a permanent commission to investigate allegations of bribery or corruption and to direct the institution of prosecutions for offences under the Bribery Act and the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law No.1 of 1975…“.
 Hoi, Y.H., Lin, C.Y., 2012. Preventing corporate corruption: the role of corporate social responsibility strategy. International Journal of Business. Behavioural Science. 2, 12 – 22.
 the amount of grants made available to them by governments under the “public-private partnership” arrangements.
Don Stanley / February 1, 2017
Thank you Dr. Lional. You are quite right that; “corruption is an international phenomenon that requires global solutions.
Information available on international financial flow indicates that “money is moving from poor to wealthy countries in ways that fundamentally undermine development”.
Now, the IMF and World Bank which are part of the Global Aid Architecture are mandated to do global FINANCIAL GOVERNANCE, whereas it is the United Nations agencies that are mandated to do social and economic development. However IMF and WB are competing with UN agencies and not doing Financial Governance and tracking, monitoring and preventing GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRIME.
Thus, Today 8 individuals own half the Global Wealth according to the report released by OXFAM at Davos – the Billionaire’s Hot Air HUB! World Bank and IMF are DIRECTLY responsible for massive Economic Inequality in the world today and the resulting social unrest, violence and resource wars.
Today there is a GLOBAL PANDEMIC OF CORRUPTION!
Governor of Central Bank, Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswarmy, as well as, Ranil Wickramasinhe, and his team of Economic Hit men who follow instructions from Harvard University (after numerous joyrides there for Sujiva, Harsha, etc), should ask World Bank and IMF it they really want to AID Sri Lanka, to use all their so-called experts to track down the millions looted from Sri Lanka by Mahinda Jarapassa, family and cronies as a PRIORITY, rather than selling off Sri Lanka’s land and marine resources to China, US, India and Japan, in order to pay Sri Lanka’s massive national debts amassed by corrupt politicians, while borrowing more from IMF and pushing Lanka in a bigger DEBT TRAP.
World Bank and IMF are part of Global Financial Governance Architecture but their PhD. experts protect financial crimie rather than track them down. IMF and World Bank are supposed to do Global Financial Governance but rather are putting poor countries into massive DEBT TRAPS. Look at Greece and now Sri Lanka and IMF and WB bank role. WB and IMF protect global financial crime, off shore bank accounts and tax havens for the corrupt rich, including multinational corporate criminals, bond traders, and third world corrupt dictators. Because of Governance failures of WB and IMF global Economic INEQUALITY and WARS have increased massively, people do not trust global institutions and Trump is the President of the United States with the help of these outfits.
IMF and World Bank are supposed to be in charge of Financial Governance and they should be asked to track down the Financial Crimes- the millions looted from Sri Lanka and other countries in the Global South by corrupt dictators and politicians. WB and IMF are part of the problem and not the solution to CORRUPTION, INEQUALITY, POVERTY, SOCIAL UNREST, WAR and RACISM.
Amarasiri / February 1, 2017
Dr Lionel Bopage
RE:Good Governance And Corruption
“Good Governance a key challenge Sri Lanka has faced and spectacularly failed to deliver for most of its modern history. This challenge is not only about individuals, but systemic, spread across all spheres: socio-economic, political, judicial, cultural, arts and science.”
Sri Lanka is drowning in corruption, and Yahapalanaya is drowning in corruption too.
The President Sirisna, elected by 6.2 million voters, to decrease or eradicate corruption, are very unhappy, and have conferred the tittles of Turncoat, Traitor, Gona, Mala-Perethaya and Sevalaya to Sirisena.
Dinuk / February 1, 2017
Excellent analysis Dr. Bopage. Please translate into Sinhala and Tamil.
Today politicians and war lords use hyper-nationalism and racism to distract the people from their corruption and financial crimes, and thus DIVIDE and RULE the masses.
This is what Mahinda Jarapassa family cronies excelled in: Distract the people from their corruption by Dividing the masses with Hate Speech and Minority baiting and thus rule.
The only difference between Mahinda Jarapassa and Ranil-Sira Jarapalanaya is that the latter do not used Hate Speech against the minorities, but their corruption is on a great scale, Ranil has a brainless and corrupt team of Economic Hit men making Policy, who are panicking because of lack of FDI and thus getting into all sorts of scams like the Volkswaon Scam.
Volkswagon sold its Lamburghinis to Namal Jarapassa, and Audi cars to Ranil and his cronies, and has even beaten Toyota with car sales internationally. Today VW faces massive cases for false fuel emission tests in USA and EU and has to make massive pay off. Sri Lanka too should test the Audis and Lamburhihini fuel emissions and take VW to court for Lies in order to sell its cars.
SL’s massive foreign $$ debt is also partly due to the huge number of cars imported in the past few year.
srinath gunaratne / February 1, 2017
If you want to get rid of production,
You do not need global solutions!
Give the police necessary power,
Change the leadership of the police and appoint few decent human beings,
Retrain the police.
Remunerate the police so they do not have to seek bribes.
Clean up the corrupt judges,
Change the leadership,
Increase the office of AG.
Give the necessary power to the judiciary,
The politicians in the country think they are invincible! send couple of them to jail!
Send couple of white collar thieves to jail!
Everyone will correct the course!
Independent commissions, my arse!
The shitty bastards want to keep the law and order under their wings and abuse the system, The endemic corruption treacles down to every artery in the society!
Bunjappu / February 1, 2017
I have the feeling yo should have spiced something else today.
All what comes out of sound fair how come ? Did you change your supermarket in the Uk ?
Of course, if things would have been easier to materialize in a country every second is a culprit, and sitll being more dependent from IMP and World bank not even being able to run basic ministries by their own…..
we must realize – who we really are ?
Germany or other countries fell down were pumped billions after the wars were over.. but still srilanka has not gained such collosal sums… and even the men like Rajaakshes instead looted and filled their own pockets – no matter the grief of the common would have become to monuntains.
That is the reality, I am alsi in the view, Polices should be blessed with double the salary of each- if CRIMES and the like abuses to be free from lanken soils.
POLICE = THE ROUND UP for the nation.
Edwin Perera (Italy) / February 1, 2017
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jim softy / February 2, 2017
It is true that all these western countries who preaches human rights good governance behind the screen is very corrupt. They promote every criminal activity, financial fraud, exploitation of poor countries in order to make their country richer. But, they blame every body except them.
It is Sri lankan’s leaders responsibility to place a system in order to reduce corruption. It is said, In Sri lanka, the first leader to do such corupt activities and finally move meditterranean was Sri Oliver Gunathilake. His parents are said running a post office.
At present, Even the Sri lankan system is corrupt. Politicians have screwed it up very bad, even the govt employyes are not working. So, country’s productivity is very low. so, they use the $ seven billion that maids from middle east send to pay the salaries of these trade union attached govt employees.
they get loans from every where to build infra structure. The govt needs loans and foreign know how even to build a building.
the priority should close all the loop holes they built during the 30 years of war. Sri lankan legislaters should be only to make laws. but, their job is offering appointment letters, opening buildings and other than avoid their responsibilities.
for that break down of the system, President and prime minister are involved and responsible.
during the previous govt, Mahinda Rajapakse with his brothers and children ran the country. Prime minister had to sign to Kudu containers in order to earn money.
this time prime minister and the Secretary of SLFP are directly involved even though those issues are not addressed.
So, priority need is to change the system and cut down the number of politicians. Appoint educated Minister Secretaries and not the brothers of existing politicians. Appoint impartical peoples to top posts and not those party affiliated ones.
W Y Bandula / February 3, 2017
Even the present government started its operations giving bribes warped in ministerial post etc to make the parliament a bunch of robbers and will govern the country till expiry of the term not to make Sri Lanka good but to enjoy their privileges while earning money enough for generations. It was easy since dissolution of parliament handed over to those robbers by the amendment. Survival of the fittest means that in the corrupt world so called developed countries has robbed others secretly/openly and cover up there mis deeds through different concepts put forward by themselves. World is heading towards destruction due to inducement of greediness to expand business under different masks.
Mallaiyuran / February 4, 2017
Good one. Worth to read.
But if the author wrote this article hoping some or how to fix corruption (at least stop the growth) in Lankawe, instead of this is only to enhance understanding and pure knowledge of corruption, then he is wrong. No application of this knowledge in Lankawe. Sorry Please!
S.R.H. Hoole / February 4, 2017
Thank you for a fine, informative piece.
A very sound observation: “corruption is not simply a moral question – it is also political.” So long as our state politics fails, corruption will be very much with us. We need to get the right, honest leaders elected. Almost every politicia today is tainted in some way or an ineffective nobody. So I see little hope for being rid of corruption. When will be have candidates of standing?
Ravana / February 4, 2017
Hi Lionel, Thanks for the very descriptive, elaborate analysis of the problems, definitions, genesis, participants, protectors and the victims. One thing I’ve observed as far as I can remember is that the people (Tha Politicians) who initiate the investigations commence the enquiries from the previos and end there. I believe it should start not from yesterday, but from today, and should penerate through to the known history (say past 50yrs) of corruption in general.
I also prefer, if these leaders, instead of pointing fingers to others they should say “I may be corrupt. Please let me know, investigate and punish me”. President Sirisena should have done this at the international forum and should have pointed out that the most of the participant would have been corrupted too! Ask them have they been investigated by their authorities. My belief is that everybody is corrupt to a greater or lesser degree. Unless the investigator is clean, he wouldn’t be able to clean up the rest