While at least 91 persons have died, a further reported 110 have been reported missing and thousands have been rendered homeless to date due to severe floods and mudslides due to inclement weather which has swept through Sri Lanka during the past days, several President’s Counsel newly appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena celebrated in style on Friday night (26th) wining and dining at Colombo’s swanky five star hotels.
Among those who lavishly celebrated was anti-corruption activist JC Weliamuna who held his event at the Cinnamon Grand, Colombo.
Meanwhile, senior trade union activists who had been invited by Transparency International, Sri Lanka (TISL) to take part in a conference on Right to Information (RTI) on Saturday 27th May declined the invite on grounds of conscience, saying that they could not participate in a discussion on RTI held by an organisation whose functioning was contradictory to the basic principles of RTI.
They pointed out that RTI requests to TISL filed by several senior trade union activists in regard to providing documents indicating serious internal financial and management irregularities in the organisation had been declined on non-justifiable grounds by TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere.
The documents asked for included information relevant to the discontinuing of senior TISL staff who had been whistleblowers on fraudulent acts committed by TISL. The staff members were not given the report of an inquiry carried out by (then) Chairman of TISL Lakshan Dias and (then) Director, JC Weliamuna into the relevant incidents even though they and other members of TISL who stood up against the injustice committed, repeatedly asked for the document.
Dias and Weliamuna stepped down from their positions at TISL following the filing of the RTI requests. However, Weliamuna continues to be a key influence in directing the policy of the organization as a member of TISL.