TISL initiative on anti-corruption in private sector gains support

TISL initiative on anti-corruption in private sector gains support

Business Leaders, Professionals, and Academics commended TISL’s  private Sector Integrity Coalition to promote transparency and good governance in the Private Sector and urged more stakeholders in to the coalition.

At a seminar organized by TISL on integrity of the private sector, they proposed that organizations like the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) be invited to the Coalition to add more vigor to the campaign against corruption in the private sector. The inclusion of new young Parliamentarians to the coalition was also proposed.

The seminar was convened to prepare an action plan on the framework and the objectives of the Coalition. Representatives from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, FCCISL, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Sri Lanka, Bar Association, International Monitory Fund and KPMG were among the participants.

President of the Bar Association, Shibly Aziz while endorsing the request made at the meeting, said  that  the coalition’s initiative can be conveyed to their membership.. Sujeewa Mudalige,  President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka said that they would also like to contribute to promote the initiative taken by TISL and that steps have already been taken to include corporate governance in to the syllabus of the institution.

Dr. Koshi Mathai, Resident Representative of IMF said that what is lacking in the business sector in Sri Lanka is the drive against corruption and the Coalition must play a vital role to fill this void. He also pointed out that because of corruption in the private sector the interest of foreign investors has declined.

A Sri Lankan edition of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2009 (GCR) – Corruption and the Private Sector was introduced to the business community at the seminar.

Welcoming the participants, TISL’ Executive Director, J C Weliamuna said that the GCR Report was quoted in more than 9000 publications worldwide. “The report features more than 75 experts examining the scale, scope and devastating consequences of corporate corruption. It reveals how it affects different sectors and what action should be taken to identify the damage” he said.

Commenting on the Coalition he said that it’s a entirely Sri lankan initiative which is locally drive . However he added that  topics such as  corruption cannot be resolved within a nation and should be supported by external alliances.

”The business sector only looks at bribes as corruption but they must realize that nepotism and petty corruption has invaded the sector and is affecting the profitability and the integrity of institutions. That is why we need a collective effort to eradicate corruption in the cooperate sector, “he said.

Former Chairman of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayarathne said corruption in the corporate sector can be reduced by generating knowledge and training. “One good example is the Department of Immigration and Emigration. TISL gave them training and knowledge on how to get rid of corruption. Now the Department has become one of the most effective and corrupt- free government institutions in Sri Lanka. Even the members of the staff enjoy working in that environment,” he said.

Harin Malwatte, Secretary general and CEO of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce pointed out that the Private Sector Integrity Coalition has to be broadened with the inclusion of the right people and it should be a long term initiative.

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