Monday, February 23, 2009

INGO Infiltrations Into National Security

By Gomin Dayasri.


The Select Committee of Parliament investigating into the Operations of Non Governmental Organizations under the chairmanship of Vijitha Herath has made a deep penetrating study into the affairs of the Burghoff Foundation and made pronouncements that disclose links to the LTTE and the Armed Forces which is a concern to national security since these connections have been effected by Ministry sources. This well researched document, an effort of prominent MPs from the SLFP UNP, JVP and JHU and NFF, has not received the public acclaim, it deserves as it has not received sufficient media attention.

It is indeed an achievement that diverse political opinion can converge on an issue where foreign interference affects sovereignty of a nation at the level of a select committee without being strained by political considerations. This augurs well for parliamentary democracy where senior cabinet ministers such as D.M.Jayaratne, Dinesh Gunewardane, Sumedha Jayasena, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Mahinda Amaraweera are prepared to be objectively critical of activities of their own government and cabinet colleagues while senior UNP parliamentarians of the caliber of Joseph Micheal Perera, John Amaratunga and Vajira Abeywardane have had the strength and courage to be authors of the report criticizing the activities of foreign funded INGOs acting against (a) national interest and (b) trying to change the will of the people. It is unfortunate that Mahinda Samarasinghe a member of the Committee had not affixed his signature to the report which is in contrast to the courage and objectivity shown by his fellow cabinet colleagues. Much credit flows to Vijitha Herath in skillfully marshalling his divergent forces and to the members of the committee for their forthright comments though it has flaws in the analysis.

The report has investigated the connections the Burghof Foundation (BF) had to both the fighting force which is of public interest This certainly elevates the stature of BF and undoubtedly it could be stated in defense of BF that the blame has to be diverted to the state authorities which leveraged the links though this has happened during a period of an false truce. The Select Committee has touched the pulse at a relevant point to pass strictures on the role played by Eric Solheime in the internal affairs of the country.

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