Colombo Telegraph

RTI Comes Back To Bite Transparency International Sri Lanka Chapter

In an ironic twist, the very organization that promotes transparency has been hit with the Right To Information (RTI) Act, with trade unions using the RTI to obtain information on alleged corruption activities at the Transparency International Sri Lanka Chapter (TISL).

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere

Sources said that the Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) has exercised the RTI powers to submit six RTI applications to TISL. The applications were handed over on March 1, by the ACA representatives to TISL’s Information Officer, Nimal Keerthi Jayathileke, who had accepted the applications on behalf of the TI Sri Lanka Chapter.

The applications sought information on several cases at TISL including a case against TISL Executive Director Ashoka Obeysekere, the subsequent report by J C Weliamuna and Lakshan Dias on the incident following an internal inquiry where Obeysekere is alleged to have had penalised staff, a Rs. 1.1 fraud transaction, and to ascertain if TISL provided a job to a foreign female (the wife of an associate of Obeysekere) who did not possess the working visa to work in Sri Lanka and if she was paid ETF and EPF.

Incidentally, CAC has worked with TISL in the past and has even contributed towards the drafting of the policy on safeguarding of whistleblowers.

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