Bad Show

Feb 29, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of Transparency International has strongly criticised President Mahinda Rajapakse for removing a senior official of the government’s anti-corruption organisation. The anti-corruption watchdog said in a statement the move smacks of political interference in the workings of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

“The present course of action followed by the President’s office does not build confidence either in the President, his government or the Commission itself,” Transparency International Sri Lanka said.

The sudden removal of the director general of the commission, Piyasena Ranasinghe, and his transfer to the presidential secretariat had already created an “irreversible bad precedent.”

Transparency International (TI) said Ranasinghe’s removal came after he objected to the sudden transfer of a police officer in charge of the commission’s asset division without any consultation with the commission.

Ranasinghe was removed after he refused a request to resign made by the president’s secretary, TI said.

It said neither President Rajapakse nor the government had given any reason for the dismissal and that the pu