Following a complaint about alleged corruption by high ranking officials of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the organization has moved swiftly to violate the very principles of the whistleblower policy that it helped develop, Colombo Telegraph learns.
In this case Ananda Jayasekara, an employee of TISL (until the 31st of July 2016) who developed a whistleblower policy with the participation of 60 trade union leaders which was accepted and adopted by 60 organizations including trade unions and TISL as well in late July, charges TISL of violating the said policy.
Moves against Jayasekara had apparently begun after a petition had been submitted to TISL Chairperson by Jayasekara, Shan Wijetunge and Jagth Liyana Arachchi alleging corruption (abuse of power, nepotism, favoritism and improper recruitment) with a request for an independent investigation. The whistleblowers alleged that TISL is not transparent and violates principles of good governance.
Colombo Telegraph learns that TISL had tasked its Chairperson, Lakshan Dias, and former Chairperson and present member of TISL board J.C. Weliamuna to investigate the allegations against its Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere. Whistleblowers had then pointed out that the independence of the investigation is compromised by the fact that Dias himself is a witness to the said allegations.
Jayasekara, who has worked for TISL for ten years continuously although under several contracts renewed periodically, was informed that he could continue to work for TISL in a different position if he wished or else be terminated with a ‘golden handshake’ of Rs 350,000. Jayasakera had demanded Rs 700,000, to which Dias had responded with a request that he lower the demand. Jayasekara had said he’s agreeable to reducing it by Rs 5,000.
On the night of Sunday the 31st of July, the day his contract expired, Jayasekera was summoned to TISL around 10.00 pm and given Rs 700,000. The contracts of Wijetunge and Liyanaar Achchi expire on the 31st of December 2016.
Read victim Jayasekara’s letter here