Govt. candidates abusing state resources-TISL

By Ifham Nizam

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) yesterday said that the kith and kin of the ruling party politicians were the main culprits where the abuse of State resources for elections campaigning was concerned.

TISL Executive Director S. Ranugge said the family members and relatives of the UPFA politicians were making full use of public funds, state owned vehicles and resources for their propaganda campaigns. He said the biggest culprits were those contesting the North-Western Provincial Council.

Addressing a press briefing in Colombo yesterday, Ranugge said that within the past 72 hours, more than 75 vehicles had been used in the North Western Province for elections propaganda work. That, he said, was against the Elections Act Section Three of 103, which categorically stated that elections should be free and fair.

Ranugge said investigations by their wing ‘Programme to Protect Public Resources’ (PPPR)’ had revealed that a considerable number of public buildings were being used for election propaganda activities. "Prominent among them were bus terminals and buildings belonging to local authorities and multi-purpose cooperative societies. Posters and cutouts of candidates are displayed at those places and some are even housing party offices."

Ranugge said that their investigations had revealed that some of the former members had also failed to hand over the State-owned vehicles, apart from using vehicles without number plates. "We would come out with a comprehensive interim report on August 30," he added.

Meanwhile, he said that they would provide legal advice with the assistance of Lawyers for Democracy. Anybody requiring assistance could contact them on 011 2513313.

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