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Half of Sri Lanka has no confidence in state sector; a quarter doesn’t mind offering bribes – TISL

Only 47 per cent of Sri Lankans have confidence in the state sector and 25 per cent see no harm in offering a bribe to obtain or expedite certain government services, according to a public opinion poll conducted by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL).

These statistics were revealed at the launch of TISL’s Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) for 2019, a summary report of a survey that was conducted in all nine provinces in the first quarter of this year.

“The key findings of the GCB survey capture the experience and the perception of corruption among the Sri Lankan public as well as their willingness to act against corruption. The survey incorporates the views of 1,300 Sri Lankan citizens aged 18–80 years across Sri Lanka,” TISL said in a statement.

Addressing the media at this morning’s launch event, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said that the survey assessed state institutions including the courts, government and the police in terms of building trust and confidence in doing a good job.

“We sought the public’s opinion on their confidence in those institutions. Seventy three per cent of the people polled responded that they have confidence in the judiciary, while 59 per cent said that they have confidence in the police. However, only 47 per cent of people said that they have confidence in the Government,” Obeyesekere said.

Obeysekere further noted that 46 per cent of the people polled have complained that sexual bribery is expected when obtaining state sector service.

“It is concerning that 46 per cent have responded saying sexual bribery needs to be offered when getting a service done from state institutions.  We found that sexual bribery is less common in rural areas than urban areas. However, in the Estate sector such cases have seen a rise,” Obeysekere said.

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