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Sri Lanka anti-corruption commissioners refusing to work

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption commission has been made defunct by commissioners appointed by the ousted Rajapaksa regime who were preventing probes into bribery and corruption, a government spokesman said.

“The commissioners are refusing to perform their duties,” Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne told reporters.

“This is deliberate. The commissioners were appointed by the former regime and are trying to cover up their corruption.”

The present commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) were delaying investigations into allegations against members of the former Rajapaksa regime, he said.

The director general was appointed by the new government formed after Rajapaksa’s defeat in the January 8 presidential poll by a coalition led by Maithripala Sirisena.

But Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has informed the Cabinet of Ministers that “it is alleged there are disputes between the commissioners and the director general which hampers the day to day operations of the commission.”

Senaratne said a new commission would be appointed after the August 17 parliamentary polls which he said Wickremesinghe is expected to win.

Wickremesinghe told the Cabinet that the non-co-operation of the commissioners had made it difficult even to take legal action in respect of a large number of complaints for which investigations have been completed.

The commissioners have refused to grant approval to recruit 50 police officers who were to be recruited to expedite ongoing investigations, Wickremesinghe told the Cabinet.

The Commissioners had also not given approval to appoint a forensic audit firm or person and have also refused to hold a commission meeting to grant approval to introduce a document management system.

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The United States  government has offered a traning program for four officers of the ccomission but the commission has refused to grant approval for their participation.

“As a result three ongoing investigations with regard to politicians will get delayed by at least six months,” Wickremesinghe told the Cabinet. “The chairman of the commission has requested the files of a politician who is contesting for the general elections this time which is beyond his mandate.” (Colombo/July 30 2015)
 

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