Country statement- Sri Lanka -Statement by Justice W. L. R. Silva , Commissioner of Commission to investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption-Sri Lanka, 05.06.2018, at the working group meeting on Sport, Vienna, Austria

CIIThe Honourable Chairperson,
Members of the Head Table
Distinguished delegates,

To begin with may I quote certain excerpts from the speech made by the Sport Minister of Sri Lank, appointed to office…, He stated that he would do everything possible under his preview to clear Sri Lanka’s sport sector from politics, controversies and Corruption. He further said that he would assure no politics or bureaucratic red tape would be involved”.

This statement speaks volumes about the prevalent state of affairs in the sport sector in regard to corruption, bureaucratic red tape, bribery flavoured by the highly politicized culture in the sport sector. This is not endemic to Sri Lanka but is rampart and common to almost every country other than a few.

In a Democracy, politic is essentials for it survival. But Politicizing is not welcome. What is meant by politicizing. Politic should never enter or influence the decisions of the administration other than on the matters of policy making. We cannot stop a political appointment as an ultimate authority. E.g. Sports Minister. With regards to the decision, functions and attitudes the office bearers should never be guided or consider or be influence by politics. Politics should not be a criteria when the Minister or the officers grant privileges or assistance and should not discriminate between private and public sector or between private or public institutions, associations or clubs.

Although Politics is essential for the survival , if politics haunts in any sector of a country, to favour, Influence, or to alter any decision making process, then that would result in havoc and the ultimate downfall of that sector. Although it is inevitable that the ultimate authority of any sector in a country would be a political appointee. Nevertheless, what is needed is, regardless of being a political appointee the functions of the appointed office be carried out in a reasonable, sensible and in an impartial manner to serve for the greater good of the society and the country devoid of any discrimination or victimization based on politics.

When we consider about the sport sector the most apparent influence of politics amounting to corruption and bribery, takes place during the selection of members for national and international sports events and sports clubs and also during the processes of selection of sportsmen for participation in International sports competitions. The resultant situation of such influence frustrates the whole sport sector and hence it is a must that politics should be kept at bay to create a successful and healthy environment within the sport sector.

Even for the purpose of the implementation of UNCAC, political cooperation and intervention is essential. However, that does not mean that politics can interfere with the functions of the Anti-corruption Agencies by dictating terms and conditions of operations. Same applies to the sports sector as well. Politics is required to carryout certain functions, but by doing that politics should not influence or interfere in the selection processes of any nature at any time. If not the consequential, situation will lead to Bribery and corruption, which in turn will create frustration among the qualified sportsmen and impair the achievements of a nation in the domestic and international arena.

When politicians try to influence the judgment of the officials evidently that would result in corruption, as the official will only implement the dictates of a politician and their by appoint or assist, a person who may not be the most qualified and that he will be using his office to discriminate between the most qualified person as against a person picked & chosen at the whims and fancies of the politicians. These authorities or office bears in order to be in power have to please the politicians by offering gratifications. In order to do that the officials have to find the resources, to find the resources they in turn have to resort to bribery and corruption.

Politics are a very serious issue for many of us a subject that gets people hacks at times. Sports on the other hand is supposed be an escape from the everyday world. Athletes are entitled to the freedom of speech, but should not bring politics into sports. Politics is Politics. Sports is sports.

In conclusion, I would like to state that, we as Sri Lankans are willing to take all measures, to implement the sprits of the Article of UNCAC in order to remove and eradicate politics, bribery and corruption from the sports sector and would appreciate and welcome all the support and inputs that could be granted to us by the international community in reaching the desired.
Thank you.

Latest News

Detection & Raids


International Relations