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US to help Sri Lanka recover stolen assets: Kerry

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – The United States will help Sri Lanka tackle corruption and recover stolen assets, by working helping with investigations and prosecution, visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"Our investigators are prepared to work with your investigators," Kerry said in a speech in Colombo

"Our prosecutors are prepared to work with your prosecutors. And we commit that any stolen assets in the United States will be returned to their rightful owners."

¬Sri Lanka current administration has alleged large scale corruption in contracts by Chinese companies financed by the Exim Bank of China, which were done without competitive tender.

The deals with Chinese firms also corrupted Sri Lanka’s state procurement system and financial regulations dating back from British colonial days which were aimed at keeping the cost of procurement as low as possible to the tax payer.

Sri Lanka’s new administration last week took the first steps to set up an independent commission to oversee procurement as part of constitutional changes that will give more freedom to the people and reduce the ability of the elected ruling class to act arbitrarily.

 

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