152 reports of abuse of public resources reported during campaign: TISL

Saturday, 1 August 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • 137 verified, 37 complaints on misusing development projects
  • 33 complaints each against public officials and misuse of State-owned vehicles 
  • Largest number of complaints from H’tota, Puttalam and Colombo
  • TISL calls for prosecution and accountability to limit future offences  

Complaints on the misuse of State-sponsored development projects, State-owned vehicles and misconduct of public officials make up the majority of complaints received during the Parliamentary Election campaign period, watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said yesterday.    TISL’s Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) had filed a total of 152 incident reports at the Elections Commission as at 30 July 2020, of which 137 have been verified. 

A total of 37 complaints relate to the misuse of development projects, such as holding opening ceremonies for roads and bridges as campaign events, whilst 33 complaints relate to the conduct of public officials, and 33 complaints relate to the misuse of State-owned vehicles. 

A mapping of the verified incidents with detailed information can be viewed at www.apesalli.lk, TISL’s online platform to promote the protection of public resources, the organisation said in a statement. Incidentally, the largest number of complaints by district, have been from the Hambantota (20) and Puttalam (19) Districts, with 17 incidents of misuse of public resources being reported in the Colombo District. 

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “Whilst commending the Elections Commission on the preventative actions which have been taken thus far, I wish to re-iterate that in the absence of meaningful prosecution and accountability, such incidents will continue with impunity.” 

Obeyesekere added, “The strict provisions in Article 104GG of the Constitution must be considered when holding to account those who have violated the regulations published by the Elections Commission. We are hopeful that those entrusted with enforcing this law will act swiftly to not only ensure accountability for offences committed but also to deter future offences.” 

TISL will continue to receive complaints from the public throughout the campaign moratorium and on Election Day via the hotlines 076 322 3442 / 076 322 3663, via e-mail to [email protected] and via www.apesalli.lk.