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Corruption worsening in Sri Lanka: global graft watchdog

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Corruption worsening in Sri Lanka: global graft watchdog

COLOMBO, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Over 60 percent of Sri Lankans believe that corruption in the country has increased over the past two years, global corruption watchdog Transparency International said in its latest report released on Friday.

Transparency International (TI) in its report titled Fighting Corruption in South Asia: Building Accountability noted the overarching power and influence of the executive presidency is weakening systems to fight corruption.

Sri Lanka's rank in Global Corruption Perceptions Index in 2013 was 91 out of 177 countries with a score of 37 out of 100. A score of 50 or less indicates a serious corruption problem.

TI said 62 percent of Sri Lankans believe that corruption in the public sector is a problem or a serious problem.

"The independence of the public sector suffers from political influence. Although the Public Service Commission oversees the appointments, promotions, transfers, discipline, and dismissals of public officers, the Commission itself is appointed by the President," said the report.

Highlighting gaps in the Anti-Corruption Mechanism, TI said Sri Lanka's Bribery Act of 1994 is yet to undergo any revision or update.

The current act does not include private and civil society sectors and does not conform to the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

The report said that 43 percent of Sri Lankans reported paying a bribe to the police in the last 12 months.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140523/corruption-worsening-sri-lanka-global-graft-watchdog