Sri Lanka cracks down on overseas jaunts by politicians, officials

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a crackdown on the misuse of public funds and foreign grants by local government politicians and officials for overseas jaunts, a government spokesman said.

President Sirisena has issued new guidelines to prevent abuse after previous instructions were ignored, Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilake told a news conference.

The president proposed that approval of overseas leave and travel abroad should not be granted if applications contravene guidelines.

The guidelines on foreign travels of public representatives and public officers were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

It is the duty of all public representatives and public officers to act with thrift and responsibility in spending government funds, Karunathilake said.
Instruction circulars on foreign travel have been issued to all public institutions, he said. 

However, it has been observed that some public representatives as well as officers are engaged in foreign travel as groups, especially in provincial councils and local government institutions neglecting these instructions, using public funds and foreign grants, he said.
(COLOMBO, July 27, 2016)

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