The US State Department Special Project has made provision for a Resident Legal Advisor in Colombo to provide anti-corruption and asset recovery training and also support the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC).
The State Department has revealed the decision in a statement headlined The Global Forum on Asset Recovery: Assistance for Combatting Corruption in Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Ukraine posted its website, on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day.
The announcement was made while a high level Attorney General’s Department team was
in Washington to participate in the inaugural Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) co-hosted by the US and the United Kingdom.
During Barak Obama’s presidency, then Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Colombo his country’s readiness to help track down stolen money. The incumbent government has repeatedly accused former President Mahinda Rajapaksa of having stashed away as much as 18.5 bn USD in foreign accounts.
The State Department has said that since 2016 financial year, the US provided assistance for anti-corruption efforts in Sri Lanka to improve the functioning of Sri Lanka’s legal system and civil society, and to enhance good governance.
In addition, programmes included the provision of a Resident Legal Advisor.
Although the exact amount allocated for Sri Lanka hasn’t been revealed, the State Department says that since fiscal year 2016, the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID) has spent USD 115 mn annually to a wide range of foreign assistance efforts to counter corruption, including capacity building of foreign governments to create stronger laws and more effective institutions; investigate, prosecute, and secure convictions for corruption offences; and put in place measures to prevent corruption, foster oversight, and promote government integrity and transparency.
“US support of global efforts to recover stolen assets and ensure corrupt actors cannot benefit from their ill-gotten gains is an important part of this work.”
The United States has also provided significant technical assistance to
Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Ukraine to strengthen anti-corruption and asset recovery efforts.
(Source: The Island)