Corruption rampant at Sri Lanka Telecom (Jaffna)

[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan army in Jaffna has begun an investigation into allegations of corruption and malpractice in the Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the semi government concern which was formerly the telecommunications department.

Sources said that telephone connections in Jaffna have been granted to individuals for heavy bribes for SLT officials and soldiers. SL Telecom officials have been questioned by the army said sources.

The SLA is in charge of approving applications for telephones in the peninsula. In Sri Lanka, a telephone connection on a priority basis costs 35000.00 SL rupees. In Jaffna, where the SLT has an extremely limited capability to meet the huge demand for phones, every one who needs a connection has to apply for priority.

And every one is prepared to pay the priority fee.

In this scramble for phones, some persons with the right connections and the money have got themselves more than one phone by paying hefty bribes, which, in some cases, exceeded a hundred thousand rupees according to sources. One businessman has acquired four phones for his office they said.

In Jaffna town hundreds throng daily to make calls on the few phones that are available for the public here, including those at the Tamil partys' offices in the town. There are only 120 private and government dept. phones in Jaffna now.

These are linked to a meagre 15 loops. The Jaffna Traders Association met the Jaffna town commander Brig. Susantha Mendis yesterday to complain about the corruption and malpractice in the issuance of phones to the public in the peninsula.

 

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