[VIDEO] How Sri Lanka’s Local Government Bodies Have Become A Breeding Ground For Corruption

Sri Lanka’s Local Governance system, which many describe as the entry level to national politics, is a breeding ground for bribery and corruption.

Our weekly podcast featuring Rasika Jayakody and Yasas Hewage sheds light on how the “system” is designed to encourage corruption at the Local Government level.

“Local Government councilors receive a meager monthly salary of less than Rs. 30,000. Under the current circumstances, can a person survive a month with such a salary? So, from the day he enters the council, he is forced to make money through illegal means,” Rasika Jayakody said.

“So, the councilor starts making money through petty deals and gradually the scale of these deals increase. When he enters the Provincial Council, he makes bigger deals. When he enters Parliament, he is already deeply involved in a web of corruption. So there is no turning back,” he explained.

Yasas Hewage said public representatives such as LG councilors must be given better working conditions in order to ensure a better quality of service.

“No professional would want to spend their time and energy for a remuneration of Rs. 30,000. This is why the country’s politics attracts the wrong kind of people. In order to resolve this, critical public servants must be given a better deal by the government,” he explained.

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