Admission Of Large Scale Corruption By Minister Speaks For Itself. .
Posted on February 12th, 2017
Not surprising are all that United National Party (UNP) Chairman and Minister of Strategic Development and International Trade Malik Samarawickrema has conceded recently that there was large scale corruption in the government of which he is a frontline minister. No admission of shame or guilt here but a simple admission of the realities from a first hand perspective which seems not only plausible but quite alarming!
In the minister’s words “Yes, it is true that there is rampant corruption in the government even now as we inherited a corrupt system from the last administration and practices of that regime were yet there,” he has stated in an interview at his World Trade Centre office and published in a a media report recently but such an unashamed admission will not augur well with those who firmly believe Sri Lanka is on the way to financial recovery .
This is relative to the assurances of the government given before and after the elections and in the light of the country sliding two slots down according to the NGO Transparency International rankings.
Sri Lanka was ranked 79th in the rankings during the Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency but was later placed 83rd in 2015 and 85th the following year during the present regime that rode into office with a pledge to “rid the country of rampant corruption” which now sounds like a joke on the strength this statement.
While undoubtedly, corruption is a serious issue jeopardising the country’s credibility and reputation it also stifles economic growth which both the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were purportedly trying to resolve, it sadly reflects their attempts as ineffective where those responsible appear to be running amok and helping themselves towards robbing the country’s resources while lining their pockets. Especially at the highest level.
Accusations regarding this have been rampant lately where it was the previous Administration against whom charges have been levelled whether rightly or wrongly but for the present Administration to continue in the same direction is a matter needing remedying post haste as in the long term it could serious damage Sri Lanka’s economy and even prompt prime international lending sources towards rescinding their lending programs and reconsidering their aid packages.
Hence the private sector and the business community truly needs to stay away from corruption and the country in the last few years did not mould sincere entrepreneurs but only dealmakers in the minister’s words which has more than a ring of truth to it. where he continued that “Corruption has been deep rooted in the Sri Lankan culture and therefore it is important to receive the support of all stakeholders such as the government, the private sector, the public service and the public in uprooting corruption in the country” the commitment towards which seems imperative.
Hopefully to be able to rid the country of corruption at the top level or any level within the next three years, will not be wishful thinking but something that can be accomplished.