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Sri Lanka slain customs officer given integrity award
10 Dec, 2010 14:20:11
Dec 10, 2010 (LBO) - A Sri Lankan customs officer who was gunned down after he exposed corruption in the customs service was posthumously awarded the National Integrity Award by the corruption watchdog Transparency International.
Assistant Superintendent of Customs late Sujith Prasanna Perera was given award for the work he carried out in investigating frauds at Sri Lanka Customs before his death in 2001, a statement said.

His wife, Angela Perera, received the award from Nepali writer and activist and founding editor of Himal magazine Kanak Mani Dixit, Thursday.

The National Integrity Award was created seven years ago by the Sri Lanka branch of Transparency International to "recognize the courage and determination of the many individuals and organizations fighting corruption."

Perera, who joined the Customs in 1989 after a stint in the field of finance, was gunned in March 2001 in Kelaniya, north of Colombo, as a result of a conspiracy by two Customs officers whose corrupt activities were exposed by him, the statement said.

Nalaka Gunawardene, member of the award committee for 2010, said they hope the award will inspire more people to stand up against corruption - in government, corporate, and civil society.

"We also hope that it will strengthen the resolve of all good people to be more vocal in demanding transparency and accountability in all spheres of public life – such as politics, business, culture, media and sports," he said in a speech at the awards ceremony.

"We are impressed by the passion and commitment shown by many nominees in their respective spheres of professional work or social influence," Gunawardene said.

"At the same time, we were disappointed that the award did not attract more eligible nominations. And the identity of this year’s winner probably explains why."

Gunawardene said more work needs to done to enhance the public understanding of corruption.

"No act is too small or too insignificant. And silently looking away is not an option."

He said the various legal, regulatory and other structural arrangements are all necessary – but not sufficient – to combat corruption.

"Corruption is deep rooted in human greed. The temptations and opportunities for corruption are greater today than ever before. Faced with these stark realities, we must find the bulwark of resistance in our individual and collective values."
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4. MistyX Dec 12
Late Mr. Sujith Perera was one of the few bravest and honest Customs Officers ever, no question about it. Some dirty bustards took his life just because he fought for the RIGHT thing. Not everyone in Customs is corrupted as Denis says and yet there are a few who fight against corruption, risking their own lives. Plus the competitive business world is much corrupted than the Government Organizations and its workers.

They do anything it takes to overrun the competitors. It a two side scale. Dirty Vs. Dirty. It s like; people say the most fearless and powerful fighter ever is Bruce Lee but, what he used to say was, "I am not, there are a lot much powerful and fearless fighters in the world. The only reason people say like that is I am the one who sees them on TV."

No offences, read more news paper articles to find out on Fearless, Lawful and Genuine Customs Officers.

3. Harshana Kulasekera Dec 12
Those who hv commented before, pls read the newspapers and then u will find the answers for all ur questions/doubts. dont insult customs officers with mere jealous. if u can inform the industries/employers of u, i can say what kind of damages they have done to the country. pls note that Sujith Perera is one the officer who sacrificed his life. Some are still doing the best for this country silently, without any media publicity.
2. Denis Dec 11
I haven't heard any custom officers like Late Sujith Perera as all the other custom officers are corrupt. Rest of them live a luxurious life. Others have to pay rest of their lives for him.God bless for him.
1. skeptik Dec 10
The only good customs officer is a dead customs officer?