Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption efforts not rhetorical – Harsha
November 4, 2015 02:24 pm
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva says that at the international level Sri Lanka’s commitment to contributing to efforts to combat corruption remains strengthened as never before specially following the democratic changes in country this year.
“In fulfilment of the mandate received at both the Presidential and parliamentary elections, the Government has taken a host of meaningful steps to ensure that the public service remains free of corruption and service delivery is carried out effectively, independently and with integrity,” he said.
Addressing the high level segment of the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption in the Russian City of St. Petersburgh on Tuesday (3), he stated that the Government of Sri Lanka, under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, has taken a host of measures to prevent corruption, to seek out stolen assets and to build the capacity for effectively curbing corruption and bribery, in an effective, comprehensive, result-oriented manner.
The Deputy Minister outlined the independent institutions that have been put in place, especially following the adoption of the 19th Amendment to Constitution, as well as other investigation mechanisms, pursuant to the mandate received by the Government at both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
“Currently, investigations into allegations of bribery, corruption and money laundering are being proactively pursued by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, the Financial Crimes Investigation Division and the Criminal Investigation Department.”
“The Presidential Task Force on Stolen Assets Recovery was also established to recover stolen assets belonging to the State,” he said.
Dr. Harsha de Silva stressed that in a country where anti-corruption was only a rhetorical commitment under the last government, all these measures, aimed to contribute towards a culture of good governance, represented a paradigm shift.
He also said the Government of Sri Lanka is also encouraging the participation of civil society and businesses to assist in curbing corruption.
“With all these measures taken, the Government and the people of Sri Lanka are justifiably proud that the ongoing drive against corruption continues unabated at all levels so that, in a corruption free environment, Sri Lanka will realize the full potential of economic advancement, consistent with SDG16 that calls for an inclusive society with access to justice.”
“At the international level Sri Lanka’s commitment to contributing to efforts to combat corruption remains strengthened as never before specially following the democratic changes in Sri Lanka this year.”
“In the coming months our Government will intensify these efforts including enhancing the existing domestic legal framework,” he said.
He also noted, with appreciation, that the support and cooperation already extended to Sri Lanka by several countries to assist in the recovery of stolen assets. “Further, the assistance provided by some of these countries, the World Bank and UNODC have also contributed to capacity building of all agencies.”
“The international cooperation would no doubt assist Sri Lanka to thaw the malaise of corruption,” he said.
Participating in the 6th Session of the Conference of the State Parties hosted by the Government of Russian Federation, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva also held a number of bilataral consultations on the sidelines of the meeting.