TISL reiterates call for “interest registers” as bond scam saga continues

TISL reiterates call for “interest registers” as bond scam saga continues

TISL reiterates call for “interest registers” as bond scam saga continues

Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara

30 May, 2018 | 12:02 pm

Colombo (News1st) – With the bond scam saga take a new turn, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) as once again reiterated the importance of establishing an interest registers for members of parliament and other public representatives. TISL notes that this is as an important step towards preventing corruption.

Issuing a media release the TISL notes that it has consistently highlighted the existence of a nexus between business and politics adding that this has been exposed yet again by the revelation before the Fort magistrate’s court that MP Dayasiri Jayasekara received a cheque of Rs 1 Million, as a campaign donation from Walt & Row Associates, a company closely associated to Perpetual Treasuries.

TISL points to the revelations made through the bond commission regarding the relationship between then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and the alleged perpetrators of the bond scam as proof that this nexus knows no party boundaries.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere notes that , “A cabinet decision has already been made on the need to limit election campaign spending and the government has rhetorically stated its commitment to amending the Asset Declaration law to ensure that wealth information can be shared publicly. Public oversight is an essential component of tackling opaque financial dealings. However, at every turn, we have found lethargy among the leadership both in the executive and the legislature, when it comes to taking steps that will ensure greater accountability of public representatives. At this stage, it is clear that lethargy is tantamount to complicity and urgent action to introduce interest registers needs to be taken”.

According to Transparency International Sri Lanka, an interest register allows both monetary and in-kind donations to be publicly recorded. This not only assists in holding MPs accountable but also provides a standardised mechanism for public representatives to legitimately receive contributions from donors. This importantly can protect MPs from future sinister aspersions being cast over seemingly clandestine donations. This can also allow for potential conflicts of interest to be proactively disclosed.


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