Sri Lanka slain customs officer given integrity award

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. “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.” 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 activ