23 October, 2017

Vimukthi J’s Late Disclosures Tarnishes TISL’s Integrity Award Further

A member of this year’s transparency International Sri Lanka chapters’ “integrity Award’ panelist has failed to disclose apparent conflict of interest, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.

Good governance watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has given this year’s ‘Integrity Award’ to the Chairman of the ‘Ravaya’ newspaper, Victor Ivan, a known fraudster by way of marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.

Vimukthi Jayasundara | Photo via Vimukthi's Twitter

Vimukthi Jayasundara | Photo via Vimukthi’s Twitter

A member of the selection panel, Vimukthi Jayasundara, a Sri Lankan film director, screenwriter and visual artist, has worked in Ravaya as a contributor, copy editor and received a monthly remuneration for his services in the late 90s. Jayasundara came from the remote down South, looking for opportunities and subsequently edited an arts page in Ravaya along with Manubandu Vidyapathi and Ruwan Jayanath.

After a private viewing of Vimukthi Jayasundara’s film “Sulanga enu pinisa” Ivan wrote a positive and lengthy review. This was one of Ivan’s first film reviews.

When contacted by Colombo Telegraph and asked why he did not declare his conflict of interest, Jayasundara said that he was not legally obliged to declare his early involvement with Ravaya. “I was not a permanent employee’ he said. However, he added “Now I feel I should have declared. Now I realize it is a moral issue.”

Jayasundara also contributed to the Ravaya fund.

“There is no record that Jayasundara declared his conflict of interest.” A source close to the chairman of the panel told Colombo Telegraph

According to the guidelines of Transparency International, disclosure of conflict of interest “applies, except as otherwise stated, to every person associated with Transparency International (TI), its Secretariat or any of its National Chapters as a board member, officer, resource person or staff member. The “interests of any person associated with TI” include the interests of any person with whom they have a close personal relationship, including their spouse, life partner, children, parents, siblings or other close family members.”

Further to that the person who handles the integrity awards, Ananda Jayasekara served as Ivan’s clark. A source close to the chairman of the panel told Colombo Telegraph, “there are serious doubts whether all nominations for the award were properly handled, whether some were hidden or manipulated”.

The current editor of Ravaya, KW Janaranjana is also a director of Transparency International.

After Colombo Telegraph raised concerns over the award given to Ivan, Ivan wrote an article in Ravaya defending himself for accepting the award and also insisted that the decision on the award was unanimous. However Jayasundara said he was away when the final decision on the award was taken and that he was asked via email about his approval on the final decision. He said from the very outset of the selection process, nobody challenged the chairman’s decision. I only communicated my consent via email, Jayasundara said.

So far the Transparency International has failed to respond to our public interest questions on the award.

Related stories;

Transparency International Silent On Public Interest Questions Related To Award Given To Victor Ivan

Chief Opposition Whip Condemns TISL’s ‘Integrity’ Award, Calls For Explanation

Victor Ivan Pocketed Half Of Rāvaya’s Rs 10 Million Fund

Rāvaya ‘Staff-Shareholders’ Clueless About Ivan’s Rs 5 Million Heist

I Got Just Rs 1000 For My Share, Says Rāvaya Founder Director And Deputy Editor Colambage

Sajin Vass’ Restaurant Tip Same As ‘Hashish’ Ivan’s Salary

Ivan Must Return The Bucks He Took: Supporters Including 73 Year Old Pensioner Demand

Ivan’s Rs 5 Million Heist Goes To Fraud Bureau

Ranil Hits Sixers Off Full-Tosses Bowled By Fraudster

Rāvaya Backtracks, Starts Paying Back Swindled Contributors

Transparency International Gives Integrity Award To Accused Media Swindler

Rāvaya’s Would-Be Shareholders Left Empty-Handed

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    Where haven’t the ugly face of corruption crept in, in our society ?

    Will MY3 fall prey too ?

    I still think Ranil will be the only one left out, being in the blood line of J.R. Jayawardane, the philanthropist who gave to the society, than robbing the society.

    The previous Regime under MARA, the ALI BABA and the countless thieves were the icing of the cake.

  • 3
    0

    @CT all this exposures are good but I would love to hear more about a minister, his son, his trips to China, port city and megapolis. I heard there is something rotten going on there.

    • 1
      0

      Why are you talking to yourself?

  • 3
    1

    There must be some compelling reason for TISL giving an “integrity award” to a fraudster.
    Is TISL ‘above board’ totally?
    Do all members of TISL have “clean records” in personal and private life?
    Does Victor Ivan know something which others do not know?

  • 0
    1

    In the first place it very pertinent to examine the integrity of the TISL itself. There are a lot of serious and credible allegations against Weliamuma for abuse of TISL funds.

    Up until today, he has failed to make a statement on these allegations. Therefore, it is nothing but fair to people to come to a conclusion that this is another pseudo body created to fight corruption.

    Therefore there is no reason for one to come to conclusion that Victor Ivan could be the most deserving person to receive Transparency award for integrity for the year 2015

  • 2
    0

    U get the first award. I get the next,
    U get the first lakh,
    I get the next,
    U get the first trip to London,
    I get the trip to New York.
    Get the drift?

  • 1
    0

    CT Editor

    There are more serious frauds took place under MARA regime compared to the one in which Mr Victor Ivan is alleged to have been involved.

    I believe it is unfair to single out Victor Ivan and destroy his image for getting the Integrity award which he never asked for.

    • 2
      0

      Kapila, this is not so much about Ivan, rather it is about the questionable ethics of TISL.

      Ivan’s ‘problem’ is another matter altogether!

  • 6
    0

    It is wrong to say that only those who do a favour may have a conflict of interest.

    Even those who who attack a person, criticize him in public, may have a conflict of interest.

    Is it personal ? Is a grudge being paid off in public at a forum where the other side is not equal ?

  • 0
    1

    Accusations levelled against Ivan lacks credibility.

    He has not abused any pubic funds. It may be true that he had appropriated funds given by donors. But it is not his fault if they have not been issued shares for their contributions.

    • 0
      0

      “It may be true that he had appropriated funds given by donors.” – this is fraud

  • 0
    0

    Transparency”Heluwa”. Some here failed to understand the significance of such malpractice when committed by the very organisation that should be exposing it. I don’t even know there is a Sinhala word for conflict of interest. It almost is a cultural trait. So I’m not surprised.

  • 0
    0

    The parent body of Transparency International
    should look into this matter seriously. Their
    director in Sri Lanka JC Weliamuna’s controversial
    role was a one time the talking point. Now, one
    armed bandits are being given awards. Why? Is it
    because these bandits are perfected the art of
    drinking fine cognac? Or is it for pocketing public
    funds in the name of transparency and good governance?
    This is Sri Lanka’s Ivan the Terrible and Horrible.

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