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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rs. 53 billion of disbursed tsunami funds missing – TISL

The Island: 26/12/2007" by Zacki Jabbar

Over Rs.53 billion of disbursed tsunami donor funds has gone missing,Transperancy International Sri Lanka(TISL) said yesterday.

Implementing agencies were given Rs 122.2 billion but they are unable to account for Rs 53.6 billion of that money, the transparency watchdog said.

"While certain officials are reluctant to divulge information,there were some responsible bodies which implied that the government had utilized the funds for other purposes."

Donors initially committed Rs 241.5 billion but did not disburse the entire amount since project deadlines were not met,TISL said."Some of them withdrew from their commitment after paying the first instalment,because they were not satisfied with the progress of certain projects."

The first year Tsunami Report was issued jointly by the Sri Lankan government and development partners (multi-lateral donors, international financial authorities, bilateral and other donors and civil society).However the second year report appears to be issued under the hand of the Sri Lankan government,TISL observed.

"The Ministries of Finance,Reconstruction, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Urban Development, Food,Health and Foreign Affairs collaborated with the donors in obtaining funds and their subsequent disbursement.Hence it is the duty of these ministries to declare the current status of financial information to the people.Although there was a supervisory body called ‘Centre for National Operation’ under the President’s scrutiny,its role is unclear."

The overall picture on finances is ambiguous and left for speculation since there is no audit report after 2005,it added.

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