Despite being an avowed champion of the Right to Information, the Transparency International and its Chairperson have, up to now, failed to respond to several questions put to them by Colombo Telegraph in the public interest relating to the last year’s ‘Integrity Awards’ of Transparency International Sri Lanka.
Good governance watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has given an ‘Integrity Award’ to the chairman of the ‘Ravaya’ newspaper, Victor Ivan, by way of marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.
These questions sent by Colombo Telegraph to Transparency International as on 21st of December are as follows;
Lakshan Dias <email@example.com> , Board of Directors TISL <firstname.lastname@example.org> Find email with recipient
Cc Anushika Amarasinghe <email@example.com> , Björn Rohde-Liebenau <TIombuds@risk-communication.de> , Gehan TISL <firstname.lastname@example.org> , Jayantha TISL <email@example.com> , JC Weliamuna <firstname.lastname@example.org> , KW Janaranjana <email@example.com> , Rukshana <firstname.lastname@example.org> , Sheila Richards TISL <email@example.com> , TISL Management <firstname.lastname@example.org> , TISL Members <email@example.com> , TISL STAFF <firstname.lastname@example.org> , Tony TILS <email@example.com> , Tonys TISL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Transparency International Sri Lanka.
Colombo Telegraph has reason to investigate the integrity of the decision-making
process relating to this year’s ‘Integrity Awards’ of Transparency International
Sri Lanka (TISL). We therefore kindly request TISL to respond forthwith to the issues
raised below, in the public interest.
Given TISL’s celebration of Victor Ivan’s work in the cause of democracy prior
to 2005, cited as a reason by TISL for the recognition bestowed on him, why has TISL
omitted any reference to Mr Ivan’s conduct and writing during the two presidential
terms of Mahinda Rajapaksa (2005-2010 and 2010-2015)?
Is or is not TISL aware that Mr Ivan defended and wrote in favour of President Rajapaksa
and his brothers, even at a time when journalists and rights activists were
being attacked and were killed during Rajapaksa’s stewardship, all of which constitute
matters that are of public record?
Is or is not the TISL aware that the lives of several rights activists who condemned
the undemocratic actions of the previous regime had come under threat during this
time and moreover that these individuals and their efforts were ridiculed and disparaged
by Mr Ivan?
Is or is not the TISL aware of an ongoing inquiry by the Fraud Bureau and one by
the Registrar of Companies against Mr Ivan regarding taking monies given to a solidarity
fund for the Ravaya newspaper, where it was not disclosed to the contributors that
funds would be used to pay Mr Ivan?
Is or is not the TISL aware that there is no provision in any law or statute to pay
any such amount to Mr Ivan, regardless of the source of the funds?
In the opinion of the TISL, would the above facts be of such serious concern and
of a nature serious enough to hold back such an award until relevant inquiries are
Or, in the opinion of TISL, are the above matters ‘unimportant’ considering that
TISL applauds Mr Ivan’s ‘sharp understanding of the country’s problems and
Would or would not the TISL agree that defending a regime with a track record of
repression as diabolical as that under Mahinda Rajapaksa is in fact, part of the
very ‘problems’ that the country faces?
Is the TISL’s decision, considering all this, acceptable as an affirmation of best
practice standards advocated and followed by the parent organization Transparency
What is the set of criteria used by TISL when selecting recipients for this award?
Who were the members of the panel that was involved in selecting recipient for this
Colombo Telegraph would appreciate a quick and comprehensive response to the above
concerns which we believe are legitimate and moreover of utmost public interest given
the mandate of the organization and the ethical guidelines it apparently subscribes
to and indeed publicly advocates.