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TISL introduces hotline to report abuse of State resources


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 9 October 2019 00:00


Transparency International Sri Lanka Executive Director

Asoka Obeyesekere 

 

  • 160 observers deployed in each electorate to gather information on complaints
  • Public requested to be vigilant, warns public officials can face penalties

By Nuwan Senarathna 

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday launched a hotline for the general public to report instances of State resources being misused for Presidential Election campaigning purposes.

Speaking to media at the TISL Head Office, Executive Direct Asoka Obeyesekere said complaints could be submitted by calling 0763223662, 0763223442 or via email to pppr@tisrilanka.org. 

According to Obeyesekere, the Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) of TISL has played a significant role as an election monitor since 2002 and the program been successful in shining the spotlight on misuse of State resources during election campaigns during that time. 

“Ahead of the presidential election, the PPPR has mobilised district level observers and they will be responsible for coordinating 160 observers in each electorate in the country. The observers will be on alert round the clock and will engage with the public to collect information on the possible misuse of public property,” Obeyesekere said.

Obeyesekere requested all candidates, political parties, public official and the media to ensure compliance with regulations and circulars issued by the Election Commission (EC). He particularly highlighted directions contained in the Extraordinary Gazette notification issued by the EC, number 2141/52 on 19 September.

“The Gazette notification provides clear directions on the conduct of public officials, the use of State-owned vehicles and buildings and the conduct of special events amongst other things. All public officials ranging from those working in Local Government authorities to those employed at state-owned Enterprises must be aware of the strict penalties.”

Obeyesekere pointed out that failure to comply with directions of the EC could result in public officials facing up to three years imprisonment under Article 104GG of the Constitution. He pointed out that public officials must be mindful of incidents of misuse of public property during elections. 

He noted several public officials have been convicted in recent years for misuse of public property during election time. “We hope such instance will serve as a deterrent and will encourage those currently in public service to safeguard themselves from political interference.”

He noted they had already received several complaints including an instance of a State bank being accused of giving appointments on political bias. He said the TISL had already filed a complaint with EC over the incident.


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