The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) said Friday, they have received unprecedented amount of complaints regarding malpractices in the distribution of tsunami aid across the country. The Director Investigations Neville Guruge said that most of these complaints are against Grama Niladaries, officers of divisional secretariats and some ministries such as the Fisheries Ministry.
He said most of these complaints have come from Pothuvil, Kalamunai and Oluwil in the East and Hambantota, Galle, Matara and Hikkaduwa in the South. According to Mr. Guruge over 12 Grama niladaries have been rounded up in raids carried out by the CIABOC.
He praised the support given by the Legal Aid Commission through its ADB funded programme of training 50 Anti-corruption Legal officers to deal with malpractices in providing tsunami relief. “We are fortunate to have such a programme to prevent malpractices in giving tsunami aid even if it is already late,” he added.
Legal Aid Commission Chairman S. S. Wijeratne said that newly appointed Anti-corruption Legal Officers will be responsible for creating awareness among the people on how to deal with corrupted officers whenever they encounter them. They will also facilitate the complaining process. According to Mr. Wijeratne the legal aid centres will be set up in tsunami affected districts where people could go and make complaints. These will be set up in Colombo, Kalutara, Balapitiya, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Akkaraipattu and Kalamunai.
Director and Advisor of Legal Commission and Former Chairman of Bribery Commission Nelum Gamage said that the Ministry of Justice and Transparency International will act as partners of this project. Three Anti-Corrption Legal officers will be appointed to each legal aid centre.