But says considerable progress achieved during last 2 years
Admits more needs to be done to improve situation
Requests assistance from international community
By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
While Sri Lanka has made considerable progress in thwarting money laundering and terrorist financing over the past two years, more needs to be done to improve the situation, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday.
“In fact, I have been informed that we are not yet completely out of the woods and there are certain areas which still remain with regard to effective implementation,” he said at the inauguration of the 20th Annual Meeting of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) in Colombo.
He said that following the guidelines offered by the APG in 2015, the government has constantly improved its efforts against money laundering and terrorist financing and that a national policy was formulated and passed early last year by the cabinet to achieve the goals in a timely and effective manner.
Mangala Samaraweera / Pic by Kithsiri de Mel
“I would also like to take this opportunity to emphasize to this august gathering that Sri Lanka is completely committed and the government is fully supportive of the efforts to ensure that communication and mutual regulation review is a constant and well-coordinated effort,” he added.However, he said apart from the local commitment, Sri Lanka requires the support of international expertise to improve the past situation. “We need assistance from the international community as well. We have come out of a fairly tragic period of time where corruption was rampant,” Samaraweera said.
Central Bank Finance Intelligence Unit Director Dr. H. Amaratunga said that while the authorities are constantly reviewing the money laundering and terrorist financing regulations on the institutions monitored in the past, non-financial enterprises and professionals were recently brought under surveillance for such wrongdoings.
The APG meeting has drawn approximately 450 local and foreign delegates from the APG’s 41 member countries and several international observers and the event is currently ongoing at The Hilton Colombo.