A cross-section of highly respected business voices and a lone parliamentarian speak out in unison against the scourge of corruption. Namini Wijedasa joins the growing chorus.

In November last year, the then ruling-party MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe cross­ed the floor of Parliament and joined opposition ranks, demanding an immediate end to corruption, waste and malpractice. For months, Rajapakshe had been campaigning for action on a brace of reports compiled by the Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE), which he had chaired. There had been fireworks at several COPE meetings, particularly when he refused to permit Government officials to withhold information. He spoke openly about corruption in state institutions and called public officials – even ministers – to account.

Rajapakshe’s strategic defection – just days before a crucial budget vote – caused ripples, but there were no waves. No apology, no embarrassment and no action. Disturbingly, there was also no national outcry against barefaced corruption and the unbridled misuse of public funds.

So, is the country asleep?

If there was any reaction from the Government to Rajapakshe’s crossover and public pronouncements, it was one of vilification bordering on slander. He was criticised and his integrity questioned. He was accused of conspiring against Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime. Minister of State Revenue and Finance (who is also the Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning) Ranjith Siyambalapitiya dismissed Rajapakshe’s allegations regarding the Government’s financial activities as being baseless. Ministers of the likes of Dr. Rajitha Senaratne overtly castigated him, even calling him a slur on COPE.

But why weren’t these mandarins and recent defectors equally verbose about the uncomfortable issue that Rajapakshe had highlighted – rampant corruption at the highest levels of Government?

According to Retired Supreme Court Justice Mark Fernando, corruption may narrowly be defined as bribery and nepotism. “To me, however, corruption extends to extravagance, waste, neglect and every form of malpractice, dishonesty and abuse, misuse and unreasonable exercise of power,” he writes, in a white paper titled ‘Defeating The Dragon: Weapons For Fighting Corruption’. The respected ex-judge elaborates: “It also covers the failure or refusal to exercise power and, indeed, anything and everything left undone which results in the rights of the people being denied or impaired.”

Rajapakshe’s two COPE reports were followed last month by the conclusions of the Public Accounts Commission (PAC), chaired by Minister Rauff Hakeem. It confirmed the Auditor General’s allegations that the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had fraudulently refunded Value Added Tax (VAT) to the tune of Rs. 3.9 billion between November 2002 and August 2004.

This is now widely regarded as being the largest alleged tax fraud in Asia.

“The actual fraudulent VAT refunds in the years 2002 to 2004 are likely to be much higher than what is presently discovered,” the PAC report claims. It states that the fraud was a result of a “lack of supervision as well as possible collusion among certain officers at the various hierarchical levels of the IRD”.  And it notes that the incumbent Commissioner General of Inland Revenue (CGIR) had been the most senior Deputy Commissioner at the IRD’s VAT Branch from the inception of the related tax system. The report also referred to a “strong correlation” between the start of his tenure as VAT Commissioner and an increase in the payment of allegedly fraudulent VAT refunds.

PAC called for an investigation that would expand beyond the reported VAT fraud and cover possible irregularities in tax collection and fraudulent tax refunds that have not yet been detected. A probe is yet to commence. Siyambalapitiya was noncommittal, when asked by journalists whether the Government would take action on PAC’s findings.

In the meantime, the COPE reports are sitting at the offices of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption after they were forwarded by Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara for investigation. Whether this will lead to prosecution and conviction is anybody’s guess, especially given that this commission is notorious for netting the small fry and letting the big fish swim away.

Corruption is a veritable institution in Sri Lanka – nurtured by the state, supported by a lethargic public and propped by a participatory or unconcerned business community.

The 2007 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), introduced by Transparency International, ranks Sri Lanka 94th in the world – and our country score is an abysmal 3.2 points.

“The survey takes into account the perceptions of investors, the business community and country specialists,” explains Chrishantha Weliamuna, the Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka. “It deals with grand corruption,” he quips.

Weliamuna elaborates: “A country that scores above seven points has managed to curb corruption in a significant way and there are no major challenges faced by investors and the business community. Also, there is confidence that anybody detected as being corrupt would be appropriately dealt with. A country that scores between seven and five points is in a better position as regards fighting corruption. A score of below four is not at all satisfactory.”

A country can improve its ratings by taking progressive action. For instance, India moved higher in the rankings (with 3.5 points) by – among other measures – passing the Freedom Of Information Act two years ago. The Sri Lankan Parliament has passed neither its draft Freedom Of Information Act nor its draft Audit Act, and we don’t seem to be moving in that direction by any means. Gathering facts about expenditure of public funds remains a nightmare for journalists and auditors alike. It is also not uncommon for auditors to be under threat or find their lives in danger.

So, who is to blame?

“Do you have a mirror?” asks Arittha Wikramanayake, Senior Partner at Nithya Partners and a former Director-General of the Securities & Exchange Commission: “Take a look in it every morning – because we are all responsible…”

Fernando expresses similar sentiments. “Not just the actual culprits, all of us Sri Lankans must accept some degree of blame for corruption in Sri Lanka… if not for positive acts of commission, at least for omissions – such as the failure to express opinions against, gain information about, criticise and condemn corruption,” he says. “This includes, particularly, the many voters who knowingly vote for candidates tainted by corruption and violence, and the political parties which nominate and continue to support such candidates. That includes, also, the media… which, at times – and, perhaps, too often – refrains from vigorous exposure and criticism of corruption,” the retired judge charges.

The incumbent Chairman of COPE has this to say: “Basically, politicians are to be blamed. But people are also to be blamed – especially professionals, academics and the business community – because they have tolerated corruption without raising their voices. They have failed democracy and left politics to the politicians, without participating in it. This is a licence for politicians to become involved in undesirable activities, including the abuse of power and nepotism. Our lethargic and defunct civil society, too, has encouraged politicians to continue with rampant corruption.” Rajapakshe also criticises the media, but says that he appreciates the interest that journalists have showed – especially in 2007 – which, he says, had a “tremendous effect on curbing corruption”.

And Chandra Jayaratne – a former Chairman of arguably Sri Lanka’s most influential business grouping, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – also maintains that society is to be held responsible because it has “allowed the cancer of corruption to grow to current levels without effective action… either on its own part or by those who are accountable for its control”.

Rajan Yatawara, a retired business leader and former Chairman of the highly respected Hayleys, blames “politics and politicians”. He muses: “Why isn’t the tendency of politicians to change their party loyalties as a result of bribery or corruption being treated as such? Unwritten promises to switch camps are treated as normal, but that is a form of corruption. The question to ask is to what extent these monies go to party coffers and how much goes into the personal accounts of ministers, MPs and government officials?” Interestingly, he adds: “In my book, even accepting a hamper is tantamount to corruption.”

Bribery and corruption affect the entire populace, Yatawara emphasises. He explains: “The cost of living goes up. For example, I have worked for 41 years – but my terminal benefits are peanuts compared to what a politician gets from one deal! He acquires land, apartments, cars, etc., and so, prices go up. A younger executive who hasn’t worked for long is forced to look for land in Nugegoda, then Maharagama, then Timbuktu – because he can’t afford it.”

If the consensus appears to be that everybody must share the blame, it is also concurred that the situation can be reversed – in fact, that it’s not too late for change…

Wikramanayake stresses that it is self-defeating to say it’s too late. “The problem with corruption today is that everybody seems to be taking the attitude that it’s too late. Complacency is one of the biggest problems here, in Sri Lanka. We accept anything that is dished out to us. We feel that, even if we do make a noise, nothing will really happen.”

Most exposés in the Sunday newspapers have some truth in them, he assumes. “Having read these on Sunday, however, we don’t bother about them on Monday. We continue to deal with corrupt people. In other countries, they would be shunned. In this country, that doesn’t happen. In fact, we invite them to our next function as chief guest!”

Asked whether he felt it was too late to rid Sri Lanka of corruption, Fernando responds: “Not at all. During the past few months, considerable publicity has been given to corruption. We have seen persons in positions which enable them to indulge in corruption and enjoy its fruits accusing each other of corruption.” The former Supreme Court judge adds: “We are seeing a turning point in public attitudes to corruption – enough is enough. Today, the public will support – secretly, if not openly – drastic action against corruption.”

“It is certainly not too late,” echoes Jayaratne. “Effective and strategic societal action can bring it under control.”

“We must start now,” recommends Rajapakshe. “It’s no use repenting. It is high time to start acting.” But start acting how?

Rajapakshe calls on civil society to shake itself awake. “Practically, civil society can do a lot,” he contends. It has been suppressed since 1983, when Sri Lanka began to be ruled by Emergency Law. “Today, people think that this is how civil society must behave. But this is not normal. The involvement of civil society is a necessary component of democracy,” he underlines. And he adds: “The best you can do is to take a common stand against corrupt politicians. In India, where civil society is much stronger, corrupt politicians cannot walk safely on the streets.”

“We have to create a movement against corruption,” says Wikramanayake. “One person getting up and shouting won’t help. For instance, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is human – like the rest of us. He had the guts to stand up and speak out. But nobody has stood up and supported him. You need to create a groundswell.”

Wikramanayake adds: “The private sector and chambers of commerce keep talking about corruption and what a bad thing it is. It’s all nonsense. They are the first people who will deal with the same politicians and bureaucrats. They fund both sides, corruptly funding elections. Why can’t the chambers enter into a pact where they agree not to deal with politicians who have been shown to be corrupt?” That’s how you create a wave, he enthuses. He also supports the idea of public-interest litigation. “If you, as a journalist, cannot get the information you need, go and see if the courts will get it for you,” he urges.

Fernando argues that the people of Sri Lanka enjoy a fundamental right under the constitution to freedom from corruption. In his white paper, he has set out the legal basis of that contention and the possible remedies. “The legal options are, therefore, quite extensive. And yes, the public and civil society must use legal means whenever possible,” he suggests.

But Fernando adds: “Not only legal means. The legal option must be reinforced by scrutiny and exposure of corruption by the media and professional organisations, as well as such action as is reasonably possible by ordinary people. The combined effect of such action will be significant.”

In his paper, the ex-judge writes: “On the basis that it is the inalienable constitutional right of the people, the public must maintain critical review and scrutiny of legislative, executive and judicial performance as to the exercise of the powers delegated to them by the sovereign people to combat corruption – and, in that task, special responsibilities attach to civil society, to religious leaders, to professionals (especially legal) and to the general public.”

He adds: “The public must also show their disapproval of those persons, however prominent or influential, who are tainted by corruption in any form. When elections are pending, for instance, voters must openly proclaim their unwillingness to vote for candidates tainted by corruption and for the parties nominating such candidates. Such persons must not be given places of honour at any function.”

Yatawara calls for draconian legislation to expose corruption. He, too, encourages more people to challenge corruption in courts. In the meantime, Weliamuna says that one must adopt a multi-pronged approach. Firstly, the requisite political will must be created. “Nowhere on earth will political will be created without sufficient demand. We have seen politicians involved in power at all levels, twisting governance to their benefit. People must challenge them,” he points out. Secondly, institutional reform is vital. “Thirdly, there must be at least a few important laws in place, such as the Right To Information Act and the National Audit Act. Fourthly, awareness is vital and lacking in most sectors. That’s one reason why the business community is not bothered or has not done enough. It thinks that there’s no benefit in fighting corruption. It must understand that it will benefit more as a result of a clean system than a corrupt one,” he explains.

Rajapakshe feels that corruption in the state sector had worsened because PAC and COPE had been defunct until recently. Revealing how they once functioned, he says: “People went there to have a cup of tea, conduct a discussion and then disperse. Last year, however, we developed a culture within these committees of acting like truly apolitical representatives of the people.”

Meanwhile, corruption was exposed to public scrutiny. Bodies such as the Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) have begun playing a more active role in creating awareness. In fact, it was a predominant theme at its 2007 annual sessions. The OPA also suggested proposals to reduce the incidence of bribery and corruption.

Rajapakshe observes: “People came to know about corruption. They discovered who the corrupt politicians are. There have been many conferences and seminars on the topic. This gives anti-corruption initiatives mileage. It’s only a matter of time before the culprits are punished. The country will be compelled to take that step.”

But most politicians are fighting shy of talking openly about corruption, particularly vis-à-vis the COPE and PAC reports. In a recent interview with this journalist, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama bragged that he had held 125 meetings within the 350 days that he was Chairman of COPE. Sixteen reports had been published, but not a single was talked about.

“COPE reports are not meant for publicity, they are meant for action,” he says. So, what action had been taken? “Why, there is action being taken,” he replies, vaguely. “At the Central Bank and all these places, there’s periodical action being implemented. That’s how it is to be done. You don’t publicise and just wait for things to fall from the sky.” He did not elaborate further on the ‘action taken’…

Rajapakshe encourages voters to exercise their franchise wisely. He cautions: “The franchise is a bilateral agreement. We entrust sovereignty to politicians of our choice, and their agreement is to exercise that power in the best interests of voters and the general public. Sadly, in our country, they come into power through our franchise – and, after that, it becomes a unilateral exercise.”

He scoffs: “They think [that] being voted in is a warrant to do whatever they want.” Rajapakshe also delivers a scathing indictment on the business community. “They are the most powerful arm in society, yet many business giants are involved in corruption. They induce politicians to engage in corrupt activity to gain their little benefits. They may not realise it now, but the entire business system will collapse one day. If you sacrifice your principles and influence politicians to be corrupt for short-term benefits, it is only a matter of time before the economic system is destroyed. Future generations will suffer, including the children of today’s business leaders,” he warns.

Jayaratne agrees that the business community encourages corruption for short-term gain. “In fact, some private-sector entities do not acknowledge that they are engaging in corruption,” he asserts. “They deem this as a legitimate business strategy and all payments made are classified as acceptable ‘grease-the-wheel payments’ – being tax-deductible, as well!”

He argues in favour of social stigma being levelled against corrupt persons. Jayaratne also maintains that the business community could seek legal redress when corrupt actions impact negatively on the private sector. He urges the corporate community to ensure that business standards and ethics are effectively complied with and enforced. He also suggests that annual compliance certification be obtained by chief executive officers and chief financial officers – in published statements or affidavits – of non-engagement in bribery, corruption and unethical practices, and strict conformance with accepted business standards and ethics.

Despite the fight to end corruption appearing to be an uphill task, Fernando has chosen to end his white paper on a note of optimism. “The dragon of corruption may breathe fire, but it is by no means invincible. Dragon-fighters already have a range of reliable weapons with which they can successfully attack that dragon from all sides.”

And Wikramanayake sounds a striking note: “A few years ago, I would blame previous generations for what has happened and the situation we are now in. But I suddenly realised that we are the next generation and we haven’t done a thing! I hope that future generations will be less like us, because we have all failed.”


Corruption is a cancer in our society. Together with the lack of infrastructure development, it is one of the biggest threats to national development. The chamber is committed to participating in the effort to eradicate this menace.

LMD’s ‘Sri Lankan Of The Year’ award to COPE Chairman Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who has been at the vanguard of an anti-corruption initiative, will be a source of inspiration to all those fighting this phenomenon. Those who have been honest and transparent in their dealings will take heart from this particular award.

But we must ensure that investigative forces are similar to the judicial review, as any miscarriage of justice could cause irreparable damage to individuals and undermine the cause of fighting this threat. It is not fair to blame the business community alone, because corruption is a two-way process – there is a giver and taker. We would like to see both being taken out of the equation.


Mahen Dayananda
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce



Corruption is a substantial threat to the development of our country. It would be fair to say that the business community is responsible for the present state of affairs. We accuse the Government of corruption, but we forget that at the other end is someone who is a partner in the process.

It isn’t impossible to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption, but it has to be conceded that – in certain instances – it may be difficult.

In terms of ethical leadership on the part of the business community, things could be much better – a significant number don’t adhere to ethical standards.

The key is to implement the legal provisions currently in place, impartially and fearlessly, to tackle this menace. Unfortunately, there seems to be an absence of political will to deal with corruption – although it has to be pointed out that this has always been the case.

Nihal Fonseka
Colombo Stock Exchange



National development is maximised when every enterprise, institution and citizen acts in the best interests of the nation. Corruption is one of many disruptive forces that distort this focus.

No stakeholder can be held solely responsible – society at large is accountable and we need to address this challenge in many ways… encompassing – among others – education, value systems, citizen power and most importantly, the enforcement of conformity to honest principles.

It is certainly possible to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption – assumptions to the contrary are mistaken and an insult to the people. Our citizens have proven through multiple examples across the spheres of business, academia and government that they can deliver world-class results. We should not hasten to chastise our people, society or environment for want of an excuse for sub-optimal performance.

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya
Director/Chief Executive
Dialog Telekom



Corruption puts a substantial dampener on economic development. It has resulted in lower domestic investment, foreign direct investment and aid; government overspending; and a flow of national funds away from essential components of a country’s productive efficiency – such as education, health, and the development and maintenance of infrastructure.

It is business and industry as a whole that stand to lose the most from high levels of corruption. Its effects are particularly detrimental to small-scale businesspeople – hence, it impedes the growth of small and medium enterprises that contribute towards sustainable development.

As a corporate, we advocate non-participation in corruption by attempting to set an example in the manner in which we conduct business. Maintaining the highest standards of business integrity is vital to JKH – this is an inherent component of the values we inculcate in our employees.

Ajit Gunewardene
Deputy Chairman
John Keells Holdings



Although the biggest threat to national progress is terrorism and the ethnic conflict, corruption remains a major concern and threat. Many projects are not completed due to a lack of transparency and a clearly specified process. Reputable companies are not willing to hand out gratifications and consequently, important projects are awarded to companies that do not have a good reputation. The end result is that we pay for poor-quality work – or no work!

If there were clear and transparent mechanisms, there would be no need for the business community to hand out gratifications. The state has a greater role to play in making its processes clear and transparent. But the business community must not encourage unethical practices either.

If the involvement of the state is limited, the incidence of corruption will be reduced. We need to act together with others in the industry and discourage unethical practices.

Husein Esufally
Hemas Holdings


Whilst corruption is a major factor retarding national development, divisive and confrontational politics as well as the absence of peace, which hampers growth initiatives, are among the more pressing and immediate issues impeding progress. One cannot place the blame entirely on the business community. However, for every taker there must be a giver!

A lack of political will and the absence of effective processes to combat corruption, together with the breakdown in law and order, are major contributory factors.

It is possible to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption. We, at Unilever, do so. However, one has to be prepared to face the consequences if and when they do arise. We believe that to succeed in a sustainable manner requires the highest standards in terms of corporate behaviour. Our corporate reputation is an asset that is as important as our people and brands.

Amal Cabraal
Unilever Sri Lanka


Corruption has existed in South-East Asia, in varying degrees, for generations. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, it seems to have been aggravated in recent times. Businesses engage in corruption when they want to make excessive profits and improve their bottom lines dramatically.

The only solution is to inculcate sound ethics among businesspeople – starting from the top. Transparency and ethical conduct must be encouraged to reduce the tendency to practise corruption.

At HNB, we have consistently followed a zero-tolerance policy with regard to corruption. It may be difficult to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption, but it is certainly not impossible.

While a sustainable peace is our most over-riding concern, tackling corruption is of vital importance.

Rajendra Theagarajah
Managing Director/CEO
Hatton National Bank



Corruption is one of the biggest threats to the progress of this nation. It is fair to say that the business community is partly responsible for the present state of affairs. However, in the final analysis, society as a whole should accept responsibility for this problem.

You don’t have to indulge in corruption to do business in Sri Lanka. Refraining from corruption may affect your competitiveness, but it depends on what your corporate social responsibilities and priorities are.

We need to be more vigilant and the Bribery Commission must be strengthened in order to stamp out corruption. An effective methodology needs to be introduced to report corrupt individuals and bring them to justice.

Although the political leadership must lead the charge to stamp out corruption, the drive needs to filter down to the citizens.

Ajith Gunawardena
Chief Executive Director
Ceylinco Insurance (General)


All parties that are involved in corruption and continue to facilitate it are to blame for the present state of affairs. It is possible to do business without resorting to corruption. The extent of corruption depends on what sort of business is concerned. In the banking and financial-services sector, there may be some fraud and irregularities – but it has, on the whole, been above board.

We have a very strong compliance unit and are actively involved in ensuring that corrupt activities don’t occur. As business leaders, we need to be transparent and set proper guidelines.

Leading by example is the best way to tackle corruption. One must not be tempted by corruption even if the returns appear to be lucrative.

We certainly have reputable business leaders, but our political leadership can be much more transparent.

Ajita Pasqual
Seylan Bank


Corruption is one of the biggest threats to national development and the business community should join forces to eliminate it, so that the country can develop at a much more rapid pace.

Corruption is rampant in many countries in the region – in some cases, it is much worse than in Sri Lanka.

You can’t point fingers only at the business community – there are many other elements that are also responsible for corruption.

It is possible to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption; but in certain areas, it is difficult to operate without resorting to illegal means. For example, when you have to obtain the approval of various state establishments, you may have to resort to illegal means. However, we – as a company and as a matter of principle – do not indulge in such practices.

Dr. Rohan Fernando
Aitken Spence


There are many threats to national development, one of which is corruption. If 80 per cent of the aid we receive is utilised for development and 20 per cent is lost by way of corruption, one may be inclined to accept it – but in our case, it could well be the other way around!

You need two hands to clap – so, the business community should take its fair share of the blame. It is possible for companies to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting corruption – we are one of them. This may involve conceding the advantage to rival businesses. We are not the leading business in any sector. But holding true to our values as a family and a business is more important to us.

To stop corruption, we must ensure that all state employees are paid well. We also need to elect leaders who are genuinely interested in national development.


Hiran Cooray
Managing Director
Jetwing Hotels


Corruption is a pervasive and debilitating disease which inhibits progress and development. Its most prominent forms are abuse of power and financial corruption. According to research conducted by The World Bank and Transparency International, the correlation between anti-corruption and a positive development dividend is well established.

So, who is to blame for corruption? Politicians and bureaucrats.

We, as citizens, must ensure that politicians and bureaucrats are well paid. Then, we would have the moral right to deal severely with those who break the law.

I cannot agree with those who argue that a certain level of corruption is permissible, provided that it facilitates economic activity.

There should be zero tolerance for corruption. Those who are governing and those who are being governed should both fulfil their obligations.

Eran Wickramaratne
Deputy CEO
NDB Bank


Corruption is not the biggest threat to national development – the war is. Corruption is certainly not the sole reason for our economic woes at present. The World Bank’s corruption ratings of South and South-East Asia indicate that some countries with similar or higher corruption ratings still maintain healthy economic growth rates.

But curbing the level of corruption that prevails within the local system is a must.

Policy-makers need to introduce more stringent measures to reduce red tape and increase transparency in government operations; strengthen the judicial and legal systems; and bring in economic reforms that would reduce both the size of the state and its involvement in the economy, as well as widen the scope and participation of the private sector.

In the absence of adequate political leadership, however, this is a lost cause.

Prakash Schaffter
Managing Director/CEO
Janashakthi Insurance


Corruption leads to a loss of confidence in the system and consumes more resources than is necessary. Everybody – including you and I – is responsible for what is happening today, either by our actions or inaction. So, we should not participate in this finger-pointing game.

There are no corruption-free societies anywhere in the world. But it is the degree to which it exists here that is worrying. It is tough to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption, but it is the price one has to pay for adhering to one’s principles.

I feel that the media has a vital role to play in bringing these issues to the public’s notice.

The present electoral system is one of the major contributors to corruption – to win, large amounts of money, which politicians obtain by unethical means, are required.

Deepal Sooriyaarachchi
Eagle Insurance


There is corruption in many countries. There can be ‘neutral corruption’ and ‘negative corruption’. If some level of corruption leads to a positive outcome, it may even be condoned. There was a high level of corruption in the South-East Asian tiger economies, particularly in infrastructure development… but the need for construction was met.

However, if inappropriate buildings are erected or the wrong technology is utilised, it then becomes a serious issue. But some level of corruption is inevitable.

Under our current political system, there is a lot of horse-trading and the private sector is also tapped. There is demand on the part of the Government and supply from the private sector.

However, the vast majority of companies are not involved in corruption – it depends very much on the type of business one is in.

Malik Fernando
MJF Holdings


It is a reality that is present in both developed and developing countries – and it is the biggest threat to a country such as ours. The business community has to face the ground reality and work within its parameters to be successful. However, not many businesspeople would encourage it or openly condone it.

It is not impossible to do business in Sri Lanka without resorting to corruption. There is still a place for ethical practices and to act in an above-board manner, provided that you are brave enough to do so! It is a question of whether you want to make profits at any cost.

Reforming the civil service and inculcating the right values in Sri Lankans are vital.

We have to train our people to provide us with political leadership and even statesmanship.

Ramal Jasinghe
Asian Alliance Insurance