Jurisdiction - Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka – Recent Anti-Corruption Developments.

30 July, 2012



Sri Lanka, like many of its South Asian neighbours, faces significant problems of widespread corruption. While Transparency International’s recent survey of public perception of corruption in South Asia might suggest that the levels of corruption in Sri Lanka may be lower than some of its South Asian peers (eg, 23% of Sri Lankans reported paying a bribe in the past 12 months versus 66% of Bangladeshis), it still scores poorly on corruption perceptions rankings.
Recent developments
Neither Sri Lanka’s anti-corruption agency, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (“CIABOC”), nor any foreign agency has presented any significant case against any international company concerning bribery or corruption in Sri Lanka recently. Indeed, prior to the appointment of the current panel of CIABOC commissioners in May 2011, the CIABOC was effectively defunct because its investigators were unable to initiate investigations against any person (foreign or local) without commissorial authority. Since May 2011, the reconstituted CIABOC has spent a significant amount of time reviewing and clearing a reported backlog of around 3,000 complaints. Notably, between May 2011 and February 2012, the CIABOC arrested nearly 60 persons in connection with different anti-corruption investigations, which is higher than the annual total arrested in any previous year of its operation.
In its National Integrity System Assessment report published in April 2011, Transparency International-Sri Lanka was sharply critical of the CIABOC, claiming that it had failed to prosecute complaints of large-scale corruption or any complaints against current or former politicians.

For further information, please contact:


Mark Johnson, Partner, Herbert Smith


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