Sri Lankan aid projects investigated


Nearly $537 million in tsunami aid for Sri Lanka is unaccounted for and more than $686m has been spent on projects unrelated to the disaster, an anti-corruption watchdog says. Berlin-based Transparency International has demanded an audit of the money received by the Sri Lankan government to help victims of the Asian tsunami that hit the island on December 26, 2004, killing 31,000 people. As the tropical nation marked the fifth anniversary of the tsunami, the group alleged that out of $US2.2 billion ($2.5bn) received for relief, $US603.4m was spent on projects unrelated to the disaster. Another $US471.9m is missing, the group said. “There is no precise evidence to explain the missing sum of $US471.9m,” the TI statement issued in Colombo added. An “audit should be done by the government to explain the utilisation of the money received and the challenges faced”, the group said.