National Integrity Award 2009

National Integrity Award 2009


For the sixth successive year, TISL held the National Integrity Award (NIA) presentation on 9 December 2009 to mark the UN Anti-Corruption Day. A large gathering was present at the ceremony held at the BMICH Committee Room B.

Former Milco HR Manager wins National Integrity Award 2009

Amidst loud cheering, one- time Human Resource Manager of the State-run Milco (Pvt) Ltd, W M Chandana Jayatissa walked up to collect the National Integrity Award 2009 from Indian social activist, Arvind Kejiriwal in recognition of his untiring efforts to rid the organization of corruption.

Winning a Special Mention was Iranganie de Silva, President, Sri Lanka Animal Welfare Trust for her initiative in getting legislation passed against the illegal transport and slaughter of cattle and promoting good governance in implementing these provisions effectively.

The presentation of the National Integrity Award is the key event at the ceremony organized by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) annually to mark UN Anti-Corruption Day falling on 9 December. This was the sixth successive year that the ceremony was held.

The panel of judges this year comprised renowned educationist, Deshamanya Ms Jezima Ismail, former High Court judge Mr Samith de Silva, Eagle Insurance PLC Managing Director -Mr Deepal Sooriyaarachchi  and well known chemist Dr Douglas A Nethsinghe .

The presentation was held at the BMICH Committee Room B amidst a distinguished gathering. In the audience were over 200 representatives from Community Based Organisations (CBO) from different parts of the country.

TISL annual publication, the ‘Sri Lanka Governance Report 2009’ was also launched.

Prize winners in the Anti-Corruption Assignment Competition conducted by TISL received cash awards and book vouchers.

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Materials :

Winners :

Mr Chandana Jayatissa   [English]   [Sinhala]   [Tamil]

Mrs Iranganie de Silva    [English]   [Sinhala]   [Tamil]


National Integrity Award Winner 2009 – W M Chandana Jayatissa

jayatissaJoining the State organization Milco (Pvt) Ptd as its first Human Resources Manager, W M Chandana Jayatissa found the place fraught with corruption and malpractices. From the day he joined Milco in 2004, he fought a lone battle against corruption. Unmoved by pressure and intimidation, he continued his mission. His efforts paid dividends when he succeeded in transforming Milco into a profitable organization earning a monthly profit of around Rs 80 million.

His was a hard life when as an A level student he lost his father and had to look after his mother and three brothers and sisters. With his home in Menikhinna, he worked as a watcher in the night at Digana village and went for his studies during daytime. On a holiday he would earn a little extra as a labourer. Solely due to his determination, he got into the Peradeniya University and graduated, and later got a law degree from the Open University.

He joined Milco after serving in several other places looking after the personnel function.
Having come up the hard way, he knew what it meant to earn five rupees and what it meant when someone starts robbing his workplace. He knew from experience that malpractices which looked small would still have damaging consequences. He identified the weak areas and worked hard to remedy them even without much support from top management.

Mr Jayatissa took the initiative in forming the ‘United Front to Protect Milco’ bringing together trade unions belonging to the UNP, JVP and PA. This strengthened his hand and he succeeded in exposing the corrupt activities at top management level at Milco which included financial frauds, promotions, transfers and increments through sexual benefits and other pressures, and appointments for unqualified persons. He uncovered instances of wasting valuable assets on projects set up purely for political purposes. He succeeded in mobilizing the support of politicians, media persons, officials of the Presidential Investigation Unit and other high officials in his struggle to rid Milco of corruption.

Once he prepared an internal audit report exposing frauds and illegal transactions amounting to Rs 130 million and submitted it direct to the President. This led to a complete investigation by the Presidential Investigation Unit after which illegal payments were stopped and a few top officials were sent home.

Mr Jayatissa faced death threats and harassment at the hand of high officials who ultimately succeeded in removing him from office forcing him to seek justice through legal means. Amidst all this, he met with a serious train accident and narrowly escaped death. The father of two children, he is unemployed at present but is committed to his mission to contribute towards elimination of corruption in Sri Lanka.


Special Mention  – Mrs. Iranganie de Silva

iranganieBeing rewarded with a Special Mention is Mrs. Iranganie de Silva, President of the Sri Lanka Animal Welfare Trust formed to protect the rights of animals. She has been in the forefront in identifying the loopholes in the legislation and corrupt networks relating to animals and agitating to remedy the deficiencies. Her mission has been to find ways and means of minimizing cruelty to animals and promoting good govenace.

Over several decades she has been active in exposing rackets in illegal transport and slaughter of cattle which is happening on a large scale. She has found that powerful political elements, public officials and racketeers are involved in these deals.

She has taken the initiative in getting the archaic animal laws amended and the legal provisions incorporated in fresh legislation have been solely due to her effort. She did not sit back after getting the legislation passed. She created awareness among officials involved in implementing the legislation of the new provisions. She prepared a model for the effective use of the legislation and distributed it among all police stations in the country. She is the only person who has challenge the decision taken by the cabinet in the courts.

She has also challenged the questionable & unaccountable decisions to donate two baby elephants to Sri Dalada Mailgawa. She is the only person who has challenge the decision taken by the cabinet in the courts.

She has realized that it not easy to implement the laws relating to the welfare of animals in Sri Lanka.

“Politicians do not show any interest. We struggled for seven years and got a bill drafted on animal welfare. But it has still not seen the light of day. It is stuck in Parliament,” she said.

/ Advocacy, Integrity Awards

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