Standing Up

Ishara S. Kodikara | AFP | Getty Images Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, center, speaks to supporters at the prime minister's official residence in Colombo on December 16, 2018, after he was reappointed as prime minister by Sri Lanka's president, the same man who fired him from the job nearly two months ago.

Transparency International, an NGO that fights corruption worldwide says the country needs to make lquote abuse of public resources during elections a criminal offense.
Local politicians freely use government resources like vehicles, official residences and government employees in their election campaigns.rn

rnldblquote Merely commenting on it will not be enough. We want the media also to campaign to enact a specific criminal law to eliminate this menace. They (politicians) are spending public money,
dblquote J. C. Weliamuna, Executive Director, Transparency International appealed at a media briefing last week.rn

rnAbuse of public resources is not even an election offense in Sri Lanka and the Elections Commissioner lacks authority to stop abuse of public property.rn

rnldblquote The Election Commissioner should be given the authority to take over public assets that are misused,
dblquote he said.rn

rnTransparency International also said candidates should be required to submit a declaration of a