Sri Lanka among worst arms import monitoring nations: Study

Colombo, Sep 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka is among 14 countries with the lowest accountability for arms imports, a study by Transparency International revealed here Wednesday.

The study, a spin-off from the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (GI) 2013, analysed what 82 countries did to reduce corruption in the sector, Xinhua reported.

It placed countries in corruption risk bands according to detailed assessments across seven areas in which parliaments play a vital anti-corruption role.

It also shows, through detailed case studies, how parliaments and legislatures can improve oversight of defense.

Fourteen countries were placed at the bottom of the banding, exhibiting critical risk of corruption due to lack of legislative defense oversight.

These countries are Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen.

Only four nations - Australia, Germany, Norway, and Britain - were among the top performers, with very low levels of corruption risk, followed by 12 countries which are at low risk due to better performance by their parliaments.

Two-thirds of parliaments and legislatures failed to exercise sufficient control over their defence ministries and armed forces, the study found.

Among these, 70 percent of the largest arms importers in 2012 left the door open to corruption.

Transparency International estimates the global cost of corruption in the defence sector to be a minimum of $20 billion per year, based on data from the World Bank and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.


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