Transparency International Sri Lanka launches ApeSalli.lk to report fraud
Amid allegations of increasing corruption in the country, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has launched an online platform named ApeSalli.lk for citizens to report instances of corruption to the anti-corruption body in order to redirect them for legal redress.
TISL said the website provides users an opportunity to track corruption related incidents in specific locations of the country as well as to obtain statistics on corruption-related incidents reported to Apesalli.lk.
“Here in Sri Lanka, there have been numerous scandals and corruption allegations that rocked the nation in 2021 as the people of the country struggled to survive in a pandemic economy facing multiple challenges such as the loss of income opportunities and the hike in cost of living,” TISL said in a statement.
“It is in this backdrop that TISL marks International Anti-Corruption Day (December 09). TISL has chosen “Ape salli” or “our money” as our central theme this year, in a bid to highlight corruption in the form of abuse of power and misuse of public resources, which belong to the citizens of the nation.”
The move comes as what analysts say is a drop in public confidence government probes into corruption allegations, particularly corrupt past deals including misuse of power and public resources.
Sri Lanka’s ranking has deteriorated in the global corruption index compiled by Transparency International in the last three years. The island nation’s rank went down to 94 last year from 89 in 2018.
“There have been many developments that took place this year that are extremely concerning,” said TISL’s Executive Director Nadishani Perera in her message to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.
“The controversial tax amnesty granted earlier this year, the hastily passed Colombo Port City Economic Commission bill, multiple alleged corruption scandals related to sugar, fertilizer and other necessities, are but a few of the worrying developments that took place this year.”
Sri Lanka has seen dozens of public officials including key ministers in the present government who faced legal battles over misuse of power and public resources being acquitted from their cases.
Though some government critics have said many of such acquitted officials are either in or close to the ruling SLPP, the government has denied the charge and said it has never meddled with the judicial process.
Ruling SLPP members also have said most of the allegations against their members and allies are fabricated by the previous government.
“Apesalli.lk provides a unique platform for the citizens to report incidents of corruption to TISL. Following a thorough verification process, TISL will also be able to advise the complainants on seeking legal redress and to take steps to file complaints directly with the authorities where possible,” it said.
“Citizens who have experienced or observed corruption in their day to day lives are also given a platform to write and share their stories, gain public’s attention and create a public discourse on corruption.”
Apesalli.lk will also facilitate reporting on election violations including misuse of state resources and other violations of election laws during campaigning periods, TISL said.