This time on Kickback: Asoka Obeysekere (@asokao), Executive Director of Transparency International (TI) Sri Lanka.
Asoka describes his work prior to joining TI, provides an overview of the work that TI does in Sri Lanka, zeroing in on how TI offers legal advice to citizens via Advocacy and Legal Advice Centres
(ALAC) (https://www.transparency.org/en/alacs) and mobile legal aid clinics. The work of such decentralized and mobile legal advice allows those who would otherwise not receive legal advice to get access to it. Asoka outlines, that when it comes to corruption, fixing the problem of the client and fixing the system differ.
The two discuss the system of corruption in Sri Lanka, how corruption has become normalized and whether attitudes about corruption can be changed. In particular, Asoka describes how notions around the right to information needs to move towards entitlement and how their collaboration with the accountability lab and the “naming and faming” approaches as well as Civic education can help to so.
Asoka and Matthew discuss how registries of Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) in Ukraine inspired TI Sri Lanka to go through state-owned enterprises and search for individuals who are in higher positions to provide an overview of who are PEP. The two discuss how to overcome the challenge of keeping such PEP registries up to date, and how AI could help to provide sustainability in supporting sustainable solutions.