Tuesday, 11th May 2021

President’s retirement benefits: Transparency International Sri Lanka concerned

Colombo, Oct 22 (BAN/ AD): outgoing president Maithripala Sirisena’s retirement benefit package has been issue of concern for the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). It has expressed its “deep concern” over the amount of Rs. 360 million.

Recently cabinet approved President Maithripala Sirisena to remain in his official residence at Mahagama Sekara Mawatha (formerly Pajet Road) in Colombo.

Issuing a statement, the TISL said “This is underscored by the decision of the Supreme Court in 2007 regarding the premature exercise of executive power under the Presidents Entitlements Act of 1986.”

Whilst former Presidents and their widows/widowers are entitled to an official residence as per the provisions of the Presidents Entitlements Act 1986, TISL drew attention to a 2007 judgment of the Supreme Court.

TISL also said “TISL is firmly of the stance that decisions pertaining to such entitlements should only be taken at such time that the sitting President ceases to hold office. Furthermore, the fact that the decision was made during an election period where the President has declared that he will remain impartial despite his party’s decision to support a candidate, also raises several red flags on electoral integrity and potential corruption under the Bribery Act.”

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