Feature Article
2ND LEAD (Update)

Colombo eliminates NGO independency in North-East through Mano Ganesan's SL Ministry

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 June 2017, 23:16 GMT]
The so-called SL Ministry of ‘National’ Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages, which is being run by Mr Mano Ganesan, is currently deployed by the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka to deceive the civil society and the community-based organisations (CBOs) in the North-East as well as those engaging with the organisations in North-East from outside the island. The ‘National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations’ (NSNGO), brought under Mano Ganesan's ministry two years ago, is now in full swing to get the CBOs and independent NGOs in the North-East to fall in line with the Colombo-centric agenda of the genocidal unitary State and the external Establishments that operate the agent State in Colombo.

Five days ago, on 31st May, a federation of NGOs was created in Batticaloa by the NSNGO, also known as the NGO Secretariat, that operates under the purview of the SL Ministry of ‘National’ Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages.

The move is an attempt to smash the already existing independent federation of NGOs, through exerting pressure on the independent forum, known as I’naiyam, also to join the SL State-centric ‘federation’, informed sources in Batticaloa said.

There are 54 registered NGOs operating in Batticaloa district. Of these, 7 NGOs are branches of International NGOs and 3 come under the UN System.

36 of these organisations are already organised under the independent I’naiyam.

The move to create the SL State-centric federation under the ‘initiative’ of SL Minister Mano Ganesan is politically motivated, activists belonging to the community organisations in the district said.

Many of the CBO activists feel they were involuntarily coerced to take part in the ‘federation’ move as they the move was coming from the ‘National Secretariat’, which regulates registration and functions as a monitoring body on the behalf of the SL State.

Although Colombo Government was making propaganda that the NSNGO was functioning under Mano Ganesan's ministry since September 2015, it was only dealing with Visa matters so far. Only in recent weeks, the outfit has started its activities to control the independence of NGOs in the North-East.

The NSNGO is trying to control everything from top-down as Mano Ganesan is creating district-level and divisional-level offices to ‘coordinate’ the ‘national’ policy of the outfit.

A Sinhala official, Shakya Nanayakkara, appointed on 04 May 2016 as the Director General of the NSNGO, was personally present at the meeting in Batticaloa and was behind the drafting of constitution and framework of the federation of NGOs in Batticaloa.

Another Sinhala official Ranjith Wimalasooriya operates as the Director / Registrar of the Secretariat.

The ultimate aim of the State move is control the federation of NGOs in each district in the North-East is to re-orientate even the few remaining people-centric Community Based Organisations (CBOs) towards Colombo-centric, foreign Establishments-determined and Sinhala-operated ‘National’ agenda, under the cover of ‘effective’ coordination and regulation.

The Establishments also see Mano Ganesan as a best-fit candidate to trap the gullible and the opportunistic personalities in the Tamil diaspora to bring investments and other forms of collaboration with the unitary State system based in Colombo.

Foreign funding agencies of the Establishments seeking inroads into the island have also started to channel ‘international development’ funds through Mano Ganesan’s Ministry of ‘National Co-existence and Dialogue’ creating competitions among various SL ministries. Such funding also aims to lock Tamil diaspora activists into the collaborationist agenda with the SL State.

It has become lucrative for foreign Establishments to forge ‘strategic partnership’ with the genocidal State through recruiting ‘development quislings’ among the Tamil diaspora and by facilitating ‘diaspora dialogues’ with the operatives of the agent State in Colombo.

Mano Ganesan's SL Ministry has also been assigned the task of registration and visa facilitation for Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals interacting with the NGO and CBO sector in the North-East.

The NSNGO demands ‘positive recommendations’ from SL Foreign Ministry and from SL Defense Ministry as obligatory documents before accepting any forms or applications from Tamil Diaspora CBOs or NGOs operating outside the island that seek to get registered in the island in order to interact with the local CBOs and NGOs.

The NSNGO was initially created as an advisory body in 1988 and was placed under the SL Ministry of Health and Social Services. It was mostly defunct for a long time. During the times of genocidal war, the SL State, especially former SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa took over the control of registration and the provision of permissions for NGOs to operate in the North-East.

However, even Rajapaksas didn’t go to the extent of drafting the constitution of district-wise federations for NGOs and CBOs.

What is going on in the North and East now is nothing different from the times of war. The only difference is the change in personalities and the methods being transformed from military counter-insurgency to political ‘counter-insurgency’, commented an experienced Tamil NGO worker who is based in Jaffna.

The Ganesan move should also be seen together with the recent regulations such as the Microfincae Act of 2016, which has brought strict regulatory control of the microfinancing NGO and CBO sector.

Mano Ganesan is the leader of Western Province based Democratic People's Front.

Before becoming part of the so-called good governance with the rulers of the genocidal State, the Tamil politicians from the Western Province was a trade unionist with left orientation. He was also promoted by the US Embassy Establishment since the times of former Ambassador Robert Blake. Mr Ganesan was also the First Runner-up for U.S. State Department’s “Freedom Defenders Award” in 2007.



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