Thursday, 16th September 2021

SLAF helicopters used by politicians in campaign rallies: TISL raises concerns

Colombo, Nov 12 (BAN/ AD): In recent days politicians have been using Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF), helicopters for the transport during campaign rallies. This has drawn attention of the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL). TSIL has raised serious concerns over this.

TSIL has said this will lead to a violation of the directions issued by the Elections Commission in its gazette notice 2141/52 and called on the Commission to look into the matter.

The gazette states that “All Secretaries of Ministries/Heads of Departments should ensure that public funds are not utilized for the use of airplanes or helicopters or other vehicles for political propaganda activities.”

TISL has also requested Sri Lanka Air Force to submit details of any payments made for such transportation.

“Whilst the Elections Commission has already issued directions regarding the use of state assets including helicopters, strict oversight is required by the heads of public authorities, including the Sri Lanka Air Force, to ensure that these rules are abided by. Public officials should be vigilant given the potential legal consequences that could stem from their acts or omissions.” Told TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere.

He also said that if these services have been paid for, the ability of certain candidates to procure such services, raises questions around the financing of their campaigns. The candidates should use this opportunity to proactively disclose information on their campaign finances to underscore that state resources have not been misused”.

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