5 December, 2020

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Investigating Corruption; Fairness & Justice Must Be Ensured

By R.M.B Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

R.M.B. Senanayake

The JVP deserves the gratitude of the people for taking up matters with regard to the corruption indulged in by the Ministers of the previous regime before the Bribery & Corruption Commission. But it is unlikely that the Bribery Commission can go into the allegations since they lack the necessary technical staff to investigate such allegations. Several of the allegations refer to economic crimes. The Petroleum Corporation is accused of importing inferior petrol. They are accused of entering into hedging transactions which caused enormous losses which had to be settled in foreign currency. There are allegations of corruption in the construction of the Expressways at excessive costs. The EPF is alleged to have bought shares on the Stock Market at excessive prices which were not worth. All these require a sound knowledge of economics and the ability to understand markets and not only spot markets but also forward markets and options. The policemen or lawyers from the Attorney Generals Department do not understand or have a perspective on such situations and matters.

In the UK they set up a Serious Fraud office which deals with economic crimes and the office uses the services of professional persons including economists, accountants and bankers who analyze market data and advise the prosecutors. Can we do without such professionals to handle these corruption allegations? There is also the mitigating fact that the original decisions cannot be judged from hindsight. They have to be judged in the circumstances given the knowledge of facts and circumstances then available. They cannot be judged from hindsight. It is necessary also to consider the prevailing risks and uncertainties which prevailed when the original decision was taken.

JVP ComplaintThe investigation of Economic and Financial crimes require some sophistication and expertise available with Accountants, bankers, technical specialists and experts in the particular field who are familiar with the market conditions, the risks and the uncertainties which prevailed at the time of the alleged wrong or corrupt decision. So the services of professionals in the relevant field have to be co-opted and relevant data analyzed. Some of our Commissions of Inquiry in the past failed to take these factors into account and came to unfair decisions. I myself suffered from an unfair stricture from the Commission of Inquiry into Air Ceylon under the late Presidents Counsel Bunty De Zoysa. I was interdicted by the new Board of Directors. I had to seek permission from the Attorney General to challenge it in the Supreme Court since public officers require such approval before filing a case. I submitted my representations giving the reasons for my proposed case The Attorney General went into my representations and ordered my re-instatement to the Board of Directors who had interdicted me on the Report of the Commission.

More recently someone took the Central Bank to the Supreme Court for investing the Foreign Exchange Reserve in Greek bonds. But the weakness of the Greek bonds was not known at the time of the investment. In fact the Greek Government gained entry to the EU on false statistics dressed up by a leading Investment Bank in USA. The Supreme Court rightly did not fault the Central Bank. Fortunately in a court both sides are represented. But at proceedings of Commissions of Inquiry only those who make the accusations are represented. To imagine that a Bribery Commission or a Commission of Inquiry unassisted by professionals could decide on economic crimes is to risk unjust judgments and discourage persons in office from taking decisions in the future where risk and uncertainty is high. Public officials will then be discouraged from taking decisions and inclined to avoid or defer decisions for the loss in such circumstances will be less apparent. Errors of omission will then prevail which could cause even greater loss or harm in situations where the future is uncertain.

Therefore it is necessary to staff any Commission with persons who are competent and have experience in the particular field. The Commission should call for representations from the public. Next such representations have to be investigated by police officers but under the supervision of professionals in the particular field. They should also be assisted by technical experts perhaps drawn from the Auditor Generals Department. So the JVP representations to the Bribery & Corruption Commission call for the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry. May be more than one Commission may be required owing to the numerous allegations. As a first step in the inquiry into allegations of corruption It is necessary to appoint a fact finding Presidential Commission of Inquiry which will call for petitions from the public which their staff can investigate and co-opt the necessary knowledgeable professionals. The Commission could make its findings public and recommend cases where there is justification for criminal prosecutions. Using policemen or lawyers from the Attorney General’s Department will not be sufficient. Presidents like President JR Jayewardene set up Commissions of Inquiry as the first step. Maybe more than one Commission is required depending on the number and magnitude of the corruption allegations. Let us ensure justice not revenge.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    The photo of the clan tells it all
    “catch me if you can”

    • 5
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      All those girls got raped by Namal baby and his buddies should be given compensation by auctioning Namal’s assets. Rumours are there that some girls have been given jobs in external affairs to comfort them, while have been treated as all last dirts. Namal baby should be warned to do this kind things again – so that the youth in general could learn it from the puishements be ordered to Namal and his clans.

    • 4
      0

      It is believed that Basil Rajapakshe will have to face all high charged for collosal sums being abused – but the question how the man could be convicted while he is now in the states. Taking example from these both, current regime has to start imposing new rules against those who own dual citizenships – and becoming eligible to do politics in the country.

  • 3
    0

    No need for evidence. Make it Prima Facie, it is up to the accused to prove that he was able to vast sums of money while earning a living on a Sri Lankan MP/ Deputy Ministers statutory pay. If they cannot prove it then imprison them until they are able to prove. Better still, put them on breaking granite until their debt to the nation is paid off, which we know that they cannot in this life.

    • 1
      1

      Your argument is a bit warped I think. For example,how can I prove that I don’t have a horse when you can’t prove that I have a one?

      It is down right foolish if you believe all this is about good governance and justice. It is all about grab power by hook or crook and continue the plunder.

      I say this because we have heard the sme kind of promises and pledges from the same people from many differen platforms.

      We must not forget that this change power in our country was not a democratic process,because it was not.
      It was a coup financed by the land of the devil and ably supported by the land of deciet.

  • 1
    0

    Very informative thoughts. These are the types of arguments that people need to hear and understand. Also corruption is part of the country’s culture which requires laws,processes and mechanisms to be set up which is costly and time consuming.The new govt must pursue to establish these with the help of developed countries but will the current lot of politicians have the will to do it?

    The past is gone, money and effort expended in pursuing past misdeeds can be better utilised to make sure checks and balances are established for the future.

  • 3
    1

    Good article. There is an understanding between UNP & SLFP not to investigate each others corruption, they just talk about those only in election platforms & do nothing when they come to power.

    Even today only JVP had the courage to take those to Bribary & corruption commossion. None from UNP did that, because they know they have skeletons in their own cupboards.

    Bribary & cooruption commission should be strenthend with professionals & Auditor General Dept. too should be represented there at all times.

  • 3
    0

    RMB surely hasn’t followed the Election campaign of the UNP, TNA,JHU, JVP Diaspora,and Mangala’s Eletion campaign.

    Rajapaksas shipped 350 MT of LTTE Gold,Basil was taking 25 % of everything.7 Lambogines in Namal’s novated lease. Plus 2 Helicopters.plus the Pommy thoroughbred.

    The above are only a faction of all the allegations which were made and well documented.

    And then we have JHU “Champion” back in the saddle of the the allegedly two most corrupt organization , the Electricity Board and the Petroleum Corp,

    To top it all the President himself was in the saddle of the other legendary crooks den, the Health Ministry ,if we are to believe what Sira said in his own previous comments.

    So what is the issue of not going after the crooks to give us good governance.

    Specially after the squeaky clean Mr Ranil, promised us that he will shut the departure gates and round up the crooks on the 9th.

    I mean 75 percent of the Sinhala inhabitants always “knew” that they are with the alleged ” Robbers”.

    And they didn’t expect good governance, except good economic development good environment and freedom to find a job and live in peace.

    But what about the Elite , Anglicans , Vellalas and the Muslims who backed the Good Cops?..

    How do they feel now that Cops and Robbers are all together?..

    BTW, Has Sira taken any action on Dr Mervyn , on whom Sira spent nearly 6 months of valuable time checking all Mervyn’s report cards?.

    • 0
      1

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Rajapaksas shipped 350 MT of LTTE Gold,Basil was taking 25 % of everything.7 Lambogines in Namal’s novated lease. Plus 2 Helicopters.plus the Pommy thoroughbred.”

      350 MT = 350,000 Kg

      Stolen from 1,000,000 Women, including 100,000 Muslim Women
      =350,000/1,000,000 = 0.35 Kg =0.77 pounds/women = 12 oz/ women

      Wow

      LTTE must have stripped a lot of women out of Gold,

      and the Rajapaksas Stopped them, 25% Commission

      Wow All are Thieves,,,

      Okkoma Horu

      Ellar Kallan (எல்லார் கள்ளன்)

      http://m.tamilcube.com/translation/tamil/

  • 0
    0

    No news about Jackson (Booru-puthaa) Anthony the shit eater and Sudharman Radaliyagoda the untouchable yakada hora ?

  • 0
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    There have to be a start for everything… Lets say serious frauds up to this extent and magnitude haven’t been seen in SL, thus there was no need for an elaborate organization to be formed to deal with these kind of issues… Since the need has been arisen, the government can form a committee or organization with people with necessary knowledge. As far as to my knowledge we have all the brain power and expertise, rarely these minds are put into use here… No wonder why most of the educated leave the country to find a better future in foreign lands :/

  • 1
    0

    Investigating Corruption; Fairness & Justice Must Be Ensured:

    Only if the accused show Remorse

  • 0
    1

    The first para is a list of ALLEGATIONS, maybe still incomplete. They certainly need to be investigated and the corrupt and the dishonest punished ACCORDING to the law.

    UNFORTUNATELY, the NEW regime is the previous one minus MR and a few others, and the majority within still face similar allegations. Would they therefore be expected to investigate themselves.?

    If M3 Sirisena is serious about his campaign for honesty and integrity among the Parliamentarians and other public servants, the apparatus for such could be boosted at least initially, with the help of the Indian investigators who nailed Jeyalalitha.

  • 0
    1

    How it’s done in the ‘civilized’ world, The NEW regime please take note.

    http://pagesix.com/2015/01/16/senators-husband-stands-to-profit-from-government-deal/?_ga=1.137700920.922370688.1421462337

    • 0
      0

      Ramuuuuuuuuuu

      Are you competing with the west to hit the bottom?

      Good idea.

  • 0
    0

    Appreciate if the author or someone alse explain what the punishment or action that can be taken against someone who has commited economic crimes as given the article

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