Sinhala daily: Sri Lanka tops Asian countries in number of NGOs

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 March 2008, 11:18 GMT]
Around 600 Non Government Organisations (NGOs) are officially present in Sri Lanka, while 400 more NGOs are also engaged in Sri Lanka without official presence, Divayina, a Sinhala language daily reported on Saturday. Highlighting that Sri Lanka had become a lucrative country for peace agencies, the paper pointed out that more than one hundred organisations were engaged in peace-related business, benefiting from the CFA. The newspaper criticized 8 organizations for managing to get foreign funding to the tune of 20 million rupees per year and further alleged that these organizations, which claimed to be researching about peace, were in fact supplying "false information" to foreign actors.

The paper informed its Sinhala readers that the Government of Sri Lanka would soon ensure that a new law was in place to limit such "malpractices" that have been promoted during the last 35 years. The paper, in a separate story also said that the U.N. had given accreditation to a Tamil Human Rights centre, run by the Tamils based in France and Switzerland, and as a result, the GoSL had placed its strong objection to the move with the U.N.

In an apparent disinformation campaign, the Divayina also reported to the Sinhala masses that the Tamil parliamentarian Sivanesan was "allegedly slain by the Tigers." The paper attributed his killing to a "conflict between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the LTTE" claiming that the TNA was opposing "child conscription" by the Tigers. In another article, the same paper cited "intelligence sources" and came up with another story: Sivanesan, initially invited by the Tigers to Vanni, attempted to ride in his vehicle into a jungle-territory and thus became a victim for Tigers who wanted to kill the Tamil parliamentarian at a crucial time in order to lay the blame on the Government of Sri Lanka when Human Rights sittings were being held in Geneva.

Lakbima, another Sinhala daily, in a story on local elections in Batticaloa quoted Pillayan, a key operative of TMVP, who has assured the newspaper of a sweeping victory for his TMVP group in the forthcoming elections. Lakbima reported to the Sinhala readership that Pillayan has published a "political programme" which has been publicised to the Batticaloa people. The paper also reported about "warm welcome" that the TMVP received among the people, and attempted to convince its readers that there was no need for the group to engage in violence to win the elections.

On war front, Lakbima said that the Sri Lanka Army has captured Kokkuth-thoduvaay in its advance from Weli Oya (Ma'nalaa'ru) to Mullaiththeevu. This newspaper reported that 14 LTTE cadres and 4 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed in the attack.


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