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Black Money threat to Human Rights in Sri Lanka – UN

Sri Lanka not doing enough to track Black Money says UN Expert

UN Expert Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky/OHCHR.org

A report submitted to the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council faults Sri Lanka for not doing enough to curb or study the flow of Black money in or outside the country and that has had a direct impact on Human Rights.

The report also highlighted the country’s corruption issues.
The report, prepared by the UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky says “that no study on or official estimation of illicit outflows or inflows has been conducted to date in Sri Lanka.” He urged the authorities to make the study quickly in the interest of sustainability.

Bohoslavsky visited Sri Lanka between September 3 and 11th last year and met a host of interlocutors from the Government, the opposition as well as the private sector. His report was presented to the current session on Monday.

The UN expert also noted that Sri Lanka remains ranked as one of the most corrupt countries of the world. He said although there was a slight improvement in its ranking over the previous year the “State still obtained a score of only 38 out of 100 (the lower the score, the more corrupt a country is perceived)”in the Transparency International rankings.

The expert also made the point that “corruption and other types of illicit financial practices have an impact on human rights given that they draw a sizable part of the State budget away from its social function. Empirical studies have shown the strong correlation between such flows and lower levels of economic development.”

He said that in his meetings in Sri Lanka he heard evidence that there was corruption even in the distribution of Social Security benefits.

Sri Lanka has been included in the list of jurisdictions monitored by the Financial Action Task Force for their anti-money-laundering deficiencies, for which a plan of action has been developed, the report added. It gave Colombo a pat on the back for taking steps to “strengthen its current regime; its status was recently revised to show that it was compliant or partially compliant with 27 of 40 recommendations made by the Task Force.”

According to regulation 2018/212 issued by the European Union on 13 December 2017, Sri Lanka should be considered a State with strategic deficiencies in its regime on anti-money-laundering and countering terrorist financing, which pose significant threats to the financial system of the Union.