President Maithripala Sirisena today assured that Sri Lanka will not tolerate impunity within and outside the jurisdiction of the country and will cooperate with international partners to battle corruption wherever it exists.
Speaking at a major international anti-corruption summit in London today hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, the President said a proactive programme of victim and witness protection will be put in place, to address the protection needs of victims and witnesses of corruption crimes.
“Sri Lanka will drive out corruption in all sectors. While it would work towards making the public service corruption-free at all levels, it would also focus on addressing corruption and corrupt practices among businesses. A number of tools will be developed and applied to achieve this end, including integrity awards, value education, awareness creation, and code of ethics. We are aware that corruption has the potential to negatively affect development. We would make our fight against corruption imperative for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. Sri Lanka will give practical and meaningful effect to SDG 16 – establishing just, peaceful and inclusive societies,” he said.
The President also said that while strengthening existing anti- corruption agencies, drastic changes, as may be required, will be introduced to bring Sri Lanka’s legal and administrative framework – at national and provincial levels- in line with the UN Convention against Corruption.
“Such exercises are not possible without genuine global cooperation to commit more investments into anti-corruption efforts directly. We will not tolerate impunity within and outside our jurisdiction and cooperate with international partners to battle corruption wherever it exists. The system of accountability available for those who enforce the anti-corruption laws will also be strengthened. A proactive programme of victim and witness protection will be put in place, to address the protection needs of victims and witnesses of corruption crimes. We will work towards a better and effective anti- corruption environment where all stakeholders including Government agencies, civil society, business sector and international partners collectively work towards a transparent and accountable anti- corruption framework in Sri Lanka,” he added.
He also said that the print and electronic media will be encouraged to contribute effectively to the fight against corruption.
“Consistency and credibility shall remain the fundamental principles underpinning our national, regional and international efforts in this arena at all times. We will actively support global efforts to address corruption at highest levels. We will partner with UN, G20, and other global leaders and institutions to make anti- corruption actions more meaningful. In this direction, we will support the establishment of an Anti- Corruption Innovation Hub and a Beneficial Ownership Register. We will consider taking legislative and administrative measures to actively participate in such endeavours,” he said.
The President said prosecuting money laundering and Recovery of Stolen Assets is a priority and Sri Lanka will seek global political commitments to effectively prosecute money laundering and to make the stolen assets recovery efforts more meaningful. (Colombo Gazette)