SJB in UNP’s constriction coil

Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) hosted the grand finale of Integrity Icon Sri Lanka (IISL) 2022/23 at BMICH in Colombo today (August 17). This event served as a platform to acknowledge and applaud civil servants who demonstrate exceptional integrity, unwavering dedication, and strong moral values in their professional undertakings.

In collaboration with Accountability Lab, the fifth consecutive instalment of IISL was organised, felicitating honest public officials who make service to the people their foremost priority. Originated in Nepal in 2014, the Integrity Icon initiative has now been adopted in 12 countries, including Sri Lanka.

Five outstanding public officials were conferred the prestigious ‘Integrity Icon’ title at this occasion:

  1. Subagini Mathiyalagan, Divisional Secretary, Divisional Secretariat, Valikamam East, Kopay.
  2. Wijewardane Abeywickrama Nishshanka, Medical Superintendent, District Base Hospital Rikillagaskada, and District Director of Health Services, Nuwara Eliya.
  3. Yasotha Uthayakumar, Divisional Secretary, Divisional Secretariat, Valikamam South West, Sandilipay.
  4. Prathibani Sri Wijayanthi Molligoda, Nursing Officer, Base Hospital, Elpitiya.
  5. Nalin Prasanna Wijesekara, Additional Medical Officer of Health, MOH Office, Ambalangoda.

These exceptional individuals were honoured with commemorative mementoes, and they inspired the gathering by sharing their own stories. The top 12 finalists were recognised with certificates for their dedication and social contribution.

The meticulous seven-month process involved in-person and virtual interviews, conducted by a distinguished five-judge panel comprising: Austin Fernando, Retired Senior Civil Servant, S. Thillai Nadaraja, Retired Senior Civil Servant, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement and Sri Lanka Medical Association, Shreen Saroor, Peace and Women’s Rights Activist and Dr. Ramani Jayasundere, Director, Justice and Gender Programs, The Asia Foundation, Sri Lanka.

Nominees were assessed for their positive impact, accomplishments, and sacrifices while overcoming multifaceted challenges. Their ability to navigate personal, professional, and social hurdles to effect positive change, and their initiatives for societal well-being, were evaluated during the selection process.

Public servants with a proven track record of at least 5 years of service, and have at least 5 years remaining until retirement, were eligible to participate in IISL2022/23. The programme welcomed third-party nominations as well as self-nominations.

Sumith Abeysinghe, a distinguished senior public official currently serving as the Finance Commission Chairman, graced the event as the Chief Guest. In his address to the audience, he remarked, “Integrity remains the cornerstone of effective governance, and events like Integrity Icon underscore the vital role it plays in shaping our nation’s progress. It is heartening to witness these exemplary public servants, who stand as beacons of moral leadership. Their commitment to transparency and service serves as an inspiration to all of us.”

Reflecting on the significance of the occasion Nadishani Perera, Executive Director, TISL stated, “Integrity Icons stand as a testament to the power of ethical leadership in transforming our society. These dedicated public officials demonstrate that genuine service goes hand in hand with integrity. As we celebrate their achievements, let us remember that their impact extends far beyond this event – they pave the way for a brighter future free of corruption”.

IISL 2022/23, a transformative endeavour by TISL, seeks to encourage public officials committed to integrity, resisting corruption, and upholding their duty with unwavering honesty. By fostering a national conversation about the changes required in the public service, the initiative aims to contribute to a more transparent and efficient governance system in Sri Lanka. The recognition and promotion of the winners as role models seek to inspire a conscientious future leadership for Sri Lanka.