Youth urge Government to act against Corruption
Youth in Sri Lanka request the Government to rightfully enforce the law against politicians, public officials and all other parties accused of engaging in corrupt activities irrespective of their wealth and social status giving it maximum publicity so that society is well aware of corrupt individuals.
They have requested in writing to establish a national level anti-corruption policy which will not waver according to party politics and take steps to inculcate the importance of a value-based life and existence without corruption through the education system.
They handed over petition to Youth Affairs Ministry Secretary, A.K. Thilakarathna after parading through streets of Colombo shouting slogans against corruption to commemorate the UN anti- corruption day on 9 December.
The Youth Walk was organized by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) in association with Sri Lanka Youth and Sri Lanka Federation of Youth and several other organizations.
The petition was formulated by youth. Following is the full text of the petition:
There is a growing concern among the youth of this country about the future of their motherland and their own due to the dark clouds seen as a result of the deep rooted corruption that is squeezing the lifeblood out of the country. The ‘use of entrusted power for private gain’ by individuals and groups is a dangerous and unfortunate predicament for any country.
An analysis of Sri Lanka’s position in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index reveals that throughout the past decade Sri Lanka has continued to receive a score below 40%. Therefore, in the eyes of the world, Sri Lanka is still a country struggling to free itself from the clutches of widespread corruption. According to the 2013 Corruption Perception Index, which was released last week, Sri Lanka has fallen 12 places in the index from the 79th position to the 91st position out of 177 countries with a score of 37 as opposed to the 2012 score of 40.
As youth who aspire and dream of a better country and a brighter future, we feel that this is a tragic situation that needs to be addressed urgently. This is why youth from different ethnicities and religions representing different geographical locations of Sri Lanka came together to discuss this issue and decided to compile and handover a statement of youth’s aspirations for Sri Lanka to the Government.
Representing 26% of the entire population of this country, we believe that youth has a fundamental right to forward such a petition on behalf of the motherland and we hope that the elected representatives of this country irrespective of their political affiliations and public officials will be committed to the betterment of Sri Lanka and along with the intellectual community will give this statement the attention it deserves.
In order to achieve a nation of integrity without bribery and corruption, we, the youth of Sri Lanka request the following from the Government:
– Strengthen and implement the existing laws in place to curb corruption that is affecting the economic, political and social framework of the country and empower the institutions concerned to implement these laws by ensuring that they are independent of political influence, and by introducing new laws to bridge the existing gaps in law enforcement.
– Rightfully enforce the law against politicians, public officials and all other parties accused of engaging in corrupt activities irrespective of their wealth and social status giving it maximum publicity so that society is well aware of corrupt individuals.
– Enable youth to engage in democracy as informed citizens by permitting access to all forms of information.
– The Governments should to take steps to inculcate the importance of a value-based life and existence without corruption through the education system.
– Establish a national level anti-corruption policy which will not waver according to party politics.
– Increase the self-confidence of youth by ensuring that employment opportunities are distributed according to skill and competence rather than bribery, corruption and political connections, and reject the social acceptance given to such corrupt practices.
– Media should practice journalistic integrity and respect the public’s right to know the truth by exposing corruption.
We request all political parties, public officials, professionals, intellectuals and all other members of civil society to pay attention to the above-mentioned requests and support us in realizing these objectives and creating a nation of integrity.
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