International Anti-Corruption Day- 09 December, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption

Bribery and corruption have become a serious threat to all countries in the world. It has many implications for the development, investment, trade, reputation and social justice of a country. Realizing that countries cannot eradicate bribery and corruption in isolation, different countries have come together and adopted collective measures to rid themselves of this menace of corruption. In this regard, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), signed by 186 states, is extremely important. Sri Lanka has signed and ratified this Convention in 2004.

Following the adoption of the Convention, all member states have collectively named 09 December as the International Anti-Corruption Day. Accordingly, on this Day, countries do many activities to effectively and efficiently combat corruption.

This year, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which serves as the secretariat for UNCAC commemorates the International Anti-Corruption Day based on the theme of community-based programmes. As such, displaying ant-corruption symbols, organizing and promoting anti-corruption campaigns, and socializing anti-corruption messages within the community have been scheduled. Therefore, this year, many countries will put their efforts into launching public awareness programmes to celebrate the Anti-Corruption Day.

Sri Lanka too has taken steps to eradicate bribery and corruption from the country since many years ago. As the focal institution for UNCAC, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) continues to take positive measures to combat corruption.

Since we did not have a plan of action to eradicate corruption from our country, CIABOC spearheaded the formulation of the National Action Plan for Combatting Bribery and Corruption in Sri Lanka 2019 – 2023 (NAP) based on the recommendations of the UNCAC and the proposals brought forth by the Open Government Partnership, a collective of 70 countries. The NAP was ceremonially launched on 18 March 2019 signifying a major step in the drive against corruption in Sri Lanka. This Action Plan will be implemented for the five year period of 2019-2023.

Recognizing the need to implement system changes within the public service as a priority measure to combat bribery and corruption from the country, the NAP incorporates a number of proposed activities to transform the Public Service into one of values and integrity. The NAP also outlines a number of activities to implement a prevention process throughout the country to educate the public.

Therefore, the International Anti-Corruption Day is a golden opportunity to increase the voice against corruption. This day is especially important to realize the activities proposed under Strategy B of the National Action Plan, i.e. “Value-based Education and Community Engagement”. CIABOC’s theme for the Anti-Corruption Day this year is bringing together all Sri Lankans to fight corruption in order to conserve modern Sri Lanka for future generations. We therefore propose to rally all parties against corruption.

Accordingly, recognizing the necessity to educate and actively engage the public in anti-corruption measures, a number of public awareness programmes have been launched by the Commission.

Reaching out to the public, CIABOC has proposed many programmes to commemorate the international anti-corruption day this year, with the objective of creating a society that rejects and stands up against bribery and corruption. In furtherance of this objective, CIABOC together with Sri Lanka Railways has organized a series of awareness raising programmes aimed at railway commuters at the Colombo Fort, Maradana, the Secretariat, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya and Dematagoda Railway Stations, which regularly witness a large number of people, i.e. approximately 350,000. All arrangements have been made for this event to take place on 9th December 2019 from 06.00 am to 07.00 pm.

Proposed activities on 09.09.2017:

  1. Distribution of pamphlets for public awareness at Colombo Fort and Maradana railway stations. A team of approximately 500 Awareness-raising Officers from CIABOC and the University is expected to participate in this activity
  2. An anti-corruption vehicle sticker campaign for buses, cars, vans, and three-wheelers based around Colombo Fort, Colombo Central Bus Stand, and the Maradana railway station
  • iii. Street Drama Performances at the Fort Railway Station, Colombo throughout the day on 09 December 2019
  1. Performing short plays on a mobile platform in front of the Fort Railway Station
  2. Broadcasting anti-bribery and corruption messages through the public announcement systems within the Fort and Maradana Railway stations
  3. Exhibiting boards carrying anti-corruption slogans at the Fort and Maradana Railway Stations
  • vii. Interviews with a select group of Railway passengers (app. 1000) at the Fort Railway Station
  • viii. Distributing cartoon books with anti-corruption themes amongst the railway commuters
  1. Distributing anti-corruption slogans to the public via SMS
  2. Dispatching anti-corruption awareness-raising teams on 4 major trains departing Colombo
  3. Displaying a banner containing the anti-corruption day slogan on the front of 48 main trains arriving at the Colombo Fort Railway Station from outstations. Displaying two banners on either side of the first compartment of each train.
  • xii. Using 2 selected trains to promote anti-corruption themes for branding purposes
  • xiii. Displaying anti-corruption themed videos on display screens on a few selected trains
  • xiv. Displaying anti-corruption themed videos and advertisements on televisions located in the Colombo Fort and Maradana railway stations and LED screens located within these premises.
  1. Broadcasting advertisements using electronic media in parallel to this programme
  • xvi. Distributing leaflets at the Fort Central Bus Stand (both Private and SLTB)
  • Sending out teams to distribute leaflets at Colpetty, Bambalapitiya, Dematagoda and Slave Island railway stations.

Eradicating the culture of bribery and corruption prevalent in country cannot be achieved without the support of the community. Inculcating a culture imbued with values and honesty requires the collective efforts of the public servants as well as the community.  Educating the community is not solely the task of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. It is the responsibility of all of us.

Therefore, it is important to give the community a sense of ownership in these anti-corruption efforts. The impact of print and electronic media is crucial in empowering society against corruption. As such, we look forward to the active contribution of your institution in raising awareness amongst the public to eradicate bribery and corruption from our country.

We expect your support especially in respect of the following:

  1. Comprehensive coverage of the programme on 09 December 2019
  2. To receive widespread publicity for preliminary programmes leading up to the 9th of December
  • iii. To continue to support empowering all Sri Lankans against bribery and corruption even after 9th December 2019.

Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption

No.36, Malalasekera Mawatha,

Colombo 07.

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