The Pandora Papers

Description:

Recent revelations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)[1] highlighted secret dealings of three Sri Lankan nationals, namely Nirupama Rajapaksa (former Member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister of Water Supply and Drainage), her spouse Thirukumar Nadesan[2] and Ramalingam Paskaralingam (the Economic Advisor to former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and a member of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management during the 2015-2019 administration).[3]

The papers expose details of extensive assets and wealth held offshore by the aforementioned individuals.

What is the corruption?

Potential unexplained acquisition of wealth, potential misuse of public resources, potential violation of the Foreign Exchange Act, potential tax evasion, potential money Laundering.

What has been done?

  • The President of Sri Lanka instructed CIABOC to initiate an investigation regarding the Pandora Papers revelations.[4]
  • The Samagi Jana Balavegaya and Several civil society organizations filed complaints with the CIABOC requesting investigations into the matter.
  • Transparency International Sri Lanka:
    • Filed complaints with the bribery commission[5] [6]
    • Filed 3 RTI applications calling for asset declarations submitted by Ms. Nirupama Rajapaksa.
    • Wrote to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) calling for an immediate investigation into potential money laundering claims.
    • Issued a press release calling on the government to seek international cooperation through diplomatic channels essential to hold offshore enablers and asset destinations accountable [7]
    • Wrote to the President, Speaker and the Election Commission of Sri Lanka to obtain the asset declarations submitted by Ms. Nirupama Rajapaksa under the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law of 1975 (as amended).

What can be done?

  • Demand the CIABOC and law enforcement agencies to follow up and expeditiously conclude the investigations into the assets and liabilities of the alleged perpetrators to ascertain whether public funds have been embezzled and laundered abroad.
  • Demand that legal action be instituted against implicated persons, based on the findings of the investigations.
  • Advocate that relevant local agency reach out to the asset destination nations identified in the Pandora Papers through diplomatic channels and pursue possibilities of collaboration in investigations and in the repatriation of stolen assets.

[1] https://www.icij.org/

[2] https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/sri-lanka-rajapaksa-family-offshore-wealth-power/

[3] https://www.sundaytimes.lk/211031/news/460407-460407.html

[4] https://www.themorning.lk/president-orders-probe-into-pandora-duo/

[5] https://www.tisrilanka.org/tisl-calls-on-ciaboc-to-investigate-assets-of-r-paskaralingam/

[6] https://www.tisrilanka.org/tisl-files-complaint-with-ciaboc-on-pandora-papers-revelations/

[7] https://www.tisrilanka.org/sri-lankan-law-enforcement-agencies-have-an-opportunity-to-reveal-the-truth-about-pandora-papers/