TISL Highlight Need to Introduce Key Legal Enactments to Combat Corruption

TISL Highlight Need to Introduce Key Legal Enactments to Combat Corruption

The recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) highlights the need for the public in all walks of life in Sri Lanka to come forward to combat corruption which is on the rise. Pointing out the urgency of the task,
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) stated that corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune.

More than 164 countries have so far become parties to the anti – corruption Convention. The Convention which came into force in December 2005, sets out prevention and criminalization measures targeting corruption, while also facilitating international cooperation and asset recovery.

International Anti-Corruption Day is a unique opportunity for all of us to think about the devastating impact corruption has on so many lives. Corruption is the most talked about problem in the world – it is also the greatest threat our societies face today.

According to the CPI report 2013, widespread corruption affected Sri Lanka most adversely during the past 12 months placing the country in the 91st position among 177 countries with a score of just 37 points. Sri Lanka slid down by 12 places from last year’s position of 79 scoring 40 points.

Denmark and New Zealand tie for the first place with scores of 91points. Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia this year make up the worst performers, scoring just 8 points each. More than two thirds of the 177 countries in the 2013 index scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).

Commenting on the current position, TISL stresses the need to introduce
key legal enactments to ensure justice in key areas of enforcement in order to strengthen the enabling environment. “The Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), the main anti-corruption agency needs to be given greater independence and empowerment, and be adequately resourced with human, infrastructure. In addition, there are areas of essential legal reforms in enhancing the operational efficiency and effectiveness of Anti-Bribery and Corruption based law enforcements,” TISL says.

TISL adds: “Sri Lanka still lacks a robust Right to Information law. Its enactment will be a great inducement to our common vision. We need to introduce a whistle Blower Protection. Elimination of corruption is possible through effective anti-corruption measures. A primary need is to have an effective whistle blower protection system. An equally important aspect of a conducive environment is the effective witness protection. In the absence of whistle blower and witness protection, eliminating corruption will not be possible.”

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