The Sunday Leader

Legal Action Against Politicos Not Declaring Assets

By Indika Sri Aravinda

Legal action is to be initiated against the political candidates who have failed to declare their assets so far, said Attorney Gunaratne Wanninayake. Speaking to The Sunday Leader  he said that a  group of lawyers had made preparations to hand over a proposal to the executive committee of the Sri Lanka Bar Association.

According to these lawyers the proposal will be handed over at the next executive committee meeting. Wanninayake said that if the candidates do not submit their assets and liabilities declaration to the Elections Commissioner’s office prior to the election, the Commissioner does not have the legal provisions to look into the assets the relevant candidates amassed during their political careers subsequent to gaining power and being appointed. He further stated that due to the absence of a strong opposition to bring up this matter, this group of lawyers had decided to raise this issue.

When contacted with regard to this issue, the current chairman of Transparency International J. C. Weliamuna said that of the total number of candidates contesting the provincial council elections, only around 65% had declared their assets and liabilities while the rest of them refrained from doing so.

Meanwhile the election commissioner told the media that the names of the candidates who have not declared their assets and liabilities will not be gazetted.

However he said that it was not possible for him to take severe action against those errant candidates due to the weakness and loopholes in the election laws, and due to the failure of the consecutive governments to bring in the required regulations.
According to Weliamuna, there are only three institutions that have some provisions to take legal action against political party candidates who fail to declare their assets and liabilities and they are the Department of Inland Revenue, Bribery and Corruption Commission and the Judiciary. Therefore, he said that Transparency International is more than prepared to offer their assistance to these lawyers to prepare their proposals, within the next few weeks. He further stated that several other civil organisations too are in the process of compiling proposals.

2 Comments for “Legal Action Against Politicos Not Declaring Assets”

  1. Lal.Fernando.

    I wonder How Mervyn Silva accquired so much of wealth? If he has done this illegally what would happen to him?The answer would be,

    NOTHING!!!!!!!!!

  2. gamarala

    How many MPs have declared assets?
    The people need to know.
    The people also need to know the details of their assets.
    In western countries and even in India,candidates for elective office declare their assets PUBLICLY.

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