CPA: Understanding Interconnections between Human Rights and Economic Crimes

in Sri Lanka: Exploring Issues and Potential Ways Forward

by Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, March 2024

Economic-Crimes-Advocacy-Report.pdf (cpalanka.org)

Summary
In Sri Lanka, economic crimes perpetrated by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) have received critical attention at present, where there have been discussions on plausible interventions to address the culture of impunity and the human rights implications of economic crimes. This report, written primarily to understand and advocate for key issues concerning addressing economic crimes in Sri Lanka, maps out several interconnections between economic crimes perpetrated by PEPs in Sri Lanka and the human rights implications of such crimes. Since the notion of economic crimes suffers from an inherent conceptual confusion, there are a myriad of policy prescriptions and interventions to address economic crimes. With this understanding, the report examines a selection of issue areas concerning impunity for economic crimes in Sri Lanka in-breadth through empirical research. The report consists of three chapters. In Chapter 1, we outline the point of departure of the study, by laying out the conceptual framework of the research. The second chapter is dedicated to presenting the findings of the study, where the readers are provided an overview of certain challenges encountered in addressing economic crimes. This chapter analyses the empirical data collected in the research, by setting out the cross-cutting structural, legal as well as socio-political issues reinforcing a culture of impunity for economic crimes in the country. In the final chapter, we discuss potential interventions that could be utilized in advocacy efforts and strategies for various stakeholders to amplify the demands on the accountability for economic crimes in Sri Lanka at present. The annexure at the end of the report, provides a snapshot of several case studies on grand corruption in Sri Lanka, which could be considered as some of the emblematic cases of economic crimes in the country.

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