In light of the allegations made by President Maithripala Sirisena, in his statement on Sunday (11), over the ‘commercialisation’ of Members of Parliament, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has urged the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to act swiftly to enforce the law and hold accountable persons involved in offering and accepting bribes to members of parliament.
Whilst TISL filed a complaint with CIABOC last week with evidence of an attempt to bribe a MP, TISL brought to the attention of the public, Section 14 of the Bribery Act which prescribes a maximum 7-year prison sentence for the offence of offering a bribe to a MP or when a MP accepts a bribe.
Speaking on the matter, TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “given the President’s acknowledgement of the inducements being offered, coupled with the clear evidence of bribery, CIABOC must immediately communicate to the public the steps that it has taken to ensure accountability”.
Following the prorogation of parliament in the wake of the contested change in government, TISL expressed concerns that the state of limbo could create an environment conducive to bribery and corruption.
Obeyesekere added “statements made by MP’s themselves on the vast sums of money being offered in exchange for loyalty have confirmed these fears. CIABOC must use its power to proactively investigate allegations made against all political factions, in order to halt this alarming trend and rebuild public trust in the rule of law”. (Colombo Gazette)