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Sri Lanka: Anti-Corruption Law Planned

(Jan. 25, 2010) According to a statement by Dilan Perera, a Member of the Sri Lankan parliament and the Justice Minister, the country's President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, is planning to propose a new Act to counter waste, corruption, and other irregularities in the government. Perera said the planned bill would be the first one introduced in Parliament following the upcoming election. Rajapaksa is running for a second term in the contest scheduled for January 26, 2010. (Shamindra Ferdinando,Govt. Promises New Laws to Battle Bribery and Corruption, THE ISLAND ONLINE, Jan. 13, 2010, available at; for a list of the candidates, see the Department of Election website, (last visited Jan. 13, 2010).)

The proposal can be seen as a response to the findings of a parliamentary committee and the Auditor General, indicating the existence of problems. Perera stated that the existing laws were inadequate to fight corruption in the country, a problem he called as serious as terrorism. He went on to say that he believed the death penalty should be given to those guilty of stealing public funds. (Ferdinando, supra.)

There have been charges of both waste and corruption in connection with state-funded projects carried out in villages, such as the construction of access roads. Perera said that village religious and community leaders would be involved in monitoring the projects. (Kelum Bandara, Govt. Will Eradicate Corruption, Says Dilan, DAILY MIRROR, Jan. 13, 2009, available at

Susil Premjayantha, another Member of the parliament, has also called for greater transparency in provincial projects. He stated that investigation of the privatization of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation showed that there were irregularities in that process as well. (Ferdinando, supra.)