Sri Lanka opposition to name-and-shame state officials

Dec 11, (Economynext) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition has launched a campaign to name and shame public servants flagrantly violating election laws in favour of President Mahinda Rajapakse and prevent them from travelling abroad.

Opposition United National Party (UNP) spokesman Mangala Samaraweera told reporters Thursday that they started a "Black Book" to record civil servants and public officials abusing their authority and campaigning for the ruling party.

"We will release the names of violators and we will also keep foreign missions informed on a weekly basis," Samaraweera told reporters. "We want foreign mission to deprive them and their families of visas."

Sri Lankan military officials already face travel restrictions to the United States in line with "Leahy Law". Many Sri Lankan military officials have already been deprived of US visas in line with the Leahy criteria which black lists military units accused of human rights abuses.

Samaraweera said Treasury Secretary Punchi Banda Jayasundera was planning to summon senior public servants to Colombo on December 18 and white wash the government’s controversial infrastructure projects.

Samaraweera warned Jayasundera’s intended action amounted to breaking election law. He said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse by law was not permitted to conduct election campaign work, but he had been flagrantly violating the law.

Successive governments in Sri Lanka have been accused of misusing both state resources as well as public servants for their campaign work and despite repeated warnings from private monitors, the practice has only got worse.

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