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Government reassurance regarding NGO probe

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Reference article by Jehan Perera (JP), in The Island of 28th March titled, ‘Govt. reassurance regarding NGO probe’. JP had made some observations about the investigations on the massive amounts of foreign assistance received by NGO’s in the past. This flow had continued even after the war ended.

In the past, NGO’s had a free hand with regard to obtaining foreign funds and using them without any transparency. So based on previous records, govt. claims that it has a right to monitor NGO funds, as in other countries. It is an open secret that NGO funds had gone into the hands of the LTTE. As such, the beneficiaries had been the LTTE and not the people who deserve them.

According to a news item in The Island of 20th March, the Norwegian Agency for Dvlpt. Corpn. (NORAD) had spent 1800 million rupees to organisations supporting the ‘Peace Process’ and JP’s National Peace Council(NPC) is one of them. After the war, according to reports, 3 NGO’s had received Rs. 618 million and the NPC is among them.

JP says that since the  inception of the NPC in 1995, it had been primarily involved in ‘Public Education Activities’ which are less visible and ‘non-partisan’. The so called non-partisan ‘public education activities’ carried out by the NPC during the war and before that, such   as propaganda  to stop the war, pause, reactivate failed peace processes and so on are still fresh in the minds of the people. Therefore, I would like to draw his attention to some of the ‘non-partisan public education activities’ carried out by his organisation in the 1990’s.

I wish to refer him to 2 letters published in the Opinion column of The Island of 16th June 1998 and 18th June 1998 titled, ‘Madhu and Jehan Perera’ and ‘Mini Peace Process at Madhu’. These had disclosed some of the so called ‘non-partisan public education activities’ carried out by him!

Further, articles published by him as well had been partisan to the LTTE. In the article by him to The Island of 21 April 1999 titled, "Necessary accompaniments to battlefield gains", he had said, "...For the LTTE welcoming the Sinhalese pilgrims to Madhu was a very positive public relations exercise...They treated the pilgrims with considerable courtesy..." If so, how did the LTTE massacre 144 pilgrims at Anuradhapura?

In his article titled, ‘The losers at Madhu’ to The Island of 26 May 1999, he had said, "...It was believed that bringing Madhu under govt. control would yield a rich harvest of votes to the govt. However this did not turn out to be the case..." It’s a pity that JP pretends not to know the pattern of voting in Sri Lanka ! In the same article, he had observed, "... To professional soldier’s distrust of the enemy (LTTE) is second nature..." In 1998, Rajiv Gandhi had warned Sri Lanka that Prabhakaran is  untrustworthy and that his ambitions go far beyond any devolution. Thus JP since the inception of the NPC had been sympathetic to LTTE claims and shielding them by his "non-partisan public education activities".

P. A. Samaraweera
Australia

 

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