Saddened by attempts to sully officers of the Commission

President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at the launch of the National Action Plan for combating Bribery and Corruption yesterday said he was dismayed he had to set up commissions to investigate acts of bribery and corruption of his own administration during his four year rule, adding that these acts were done with impunity.

“I commend the officers of the Commission who have worked tirelessly to pursue high profile cases. However, I am disappointed that individuals who were implicated in these cases caused a ruckus in Parliament, threatened these officers and initiated investigations against them,” he said. “Such is the country we live in, where independent unsullied officers are investigated for performing their duties.”

He said he was appalled at the number of requests from officers and their families who wished to migrate simply because their lives were in danger. He referred to the Presidential Bond Commission adding that constant infighting in Parliament eroded the confidence people placed on such institutions. He referred to the many attempts by various individuals who used Parliament to spread misinformation and sweep the report under the carpet.

“The objective to rid the country of corruption and bribery has been the cornerstone of every government, a pledge on every political manifesto,” he said.

“When I was elected into power I took many decisions which I envisioned would rid the country of bribery and corruption. Although I am pleased with some of the efforts we have made to advance policies, I am dismayed at having to investigate the same within my government.”

The President also referred to discussions he had held with Singaporean counterparts on the extradition of one of the prime suspects who was named in the final Bond Commission report.

“I was told that since it was a political issue that there was no sufficient grounds to arrest him, despite the fact that there had been an Interpol Red Notice,” he said.

“I am appalled that the Singaporean government has been very indifferent to the matter despite my repeated requests.” He said that he would like to see the Singaporean government come clean on the matter and state if the suspect has fled their country or is still residing there.

He referred to the many instances where ordinary citizens are encumbered due to the inefficiencies of the state sector and where bribing officials were a common practice. President Sirisena referred to a Cabinet meeting adding that many ministers had questioned his decision to appoint a commission to look into the allegations of bribery and corruption. “I reminded them I had done the same with the government before but I was surprised they had the audacity to ask me this question.”


President faults Singaporean Govt. for non cooperation

President Maithripala Sirisena faulted the Singaporean government for not cooperating in extraditing a suspect who has been named in the Presidential Commission to of Inquiry (PCoL) into the Central Bank Bond issuance report.

“When I met the Singaporean Government officials, I sought their assistance to bring back a suspect who has been named in the Bond report,” said President Sirisena at the launch of the National Action Plan to eradicate Bribery and Corruption. “They told me that since this was merely a political issue, there weren’t sufficient grounds to arrest the individual.”

The President lamented that there was an arrest warrant locally and a red notice issued by Interpol as well at the time. “I am disappointed that they have been very indifferent about this matter. Either they should state publicly if this individual has left their country or is still residing there.” 

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