21 August, 2019

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Defence Ministry Has More To Hide Than All NGOs Put Together: AHRC

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has criticized the proposed law that is to make it mandatory for NGOs to register with the National Secretariat for NGOs operating under the purview of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), pointing out it is like ‘asking the fox to guard the chickens’.

Gotabaya - Secretary MOD

Gotabaya – Secretary MOD

In a statement issued by the AHRC to clarify its position regarding the controversy that has emerged in Sri Lanka concerning the proposed laws, it has asserted the MoD should not have any authority over functions of any civil society organizations including that of the NGOs.

It has listed the following arguments in support of their stance:

  • The sole purpose of the MoD has been to stifle any opposition against the Rajapaksa regime. Therefore, it would naturally cripple any form of dissent that is not in the interests of the authoritarian inclinations of the government.
  • MoD is infamous for impunity and NGOs by definition are committed to ensuring accountability and opposing impunity
  • The MoD itself has not been a paragon of transparency in its own actions as required by the principles of constitutional law; it has more to hide that all NGOs put together.

“These new laws therefore are being proposed in hypocrisy rather than good faith,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the AHRC has gone on to emphasize that their opposition to the proposed government laws should not be mistaken into thinking they are compromising their position on the need for NGOs to observe the highest standards of transparency.

The statement has also stressed on that fact that no NGO should consider it to be their obligation to defend any other NGO that has violated the rules of trust by failing to uphold transparency of its operations.

We publish below the statement in full;

AHRC’s position on the proposed law for NGO registration under the Ministry of Defence

The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to clarify its position regarding the controversy about the government’s proposal for a law to force the registration of non-governmental organisations with a National Secretariat functioning under the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.

There are two separate issues involved:

A) NGO registration under Agency of Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence should not have any power over the functioning of any civil society organisations, which includes non-governmental organisations, for the following reasons:

The sole purpose of the Ministry of Defence is to control all opposition against the Rajapaksa government. This Ministry will naturally use its power against any sector of society, to cripple and destroy every form of freedom of expression and association that has, as its aim, the protection and promotion of people’s interests as against the authoritarian inclinations of the government. Any additional power given to the Ministry will be used to destroy the freedom of NGOs, and they will be unable to function in a manner compatible with democracy, the rule of law, and human rights;

The Ministry of Defence stands for impunity. And NGOs, by definition, are committed to ensuring accountability and opposing impunity. The Ministry’s commitment to preserving impunity does not need much illustration. It has a horrendous record of using violence against citizens. This includes killings, kidnappings, forced disappearances, and violent attacks against any demonstrators. In all such serious violations of law, the Ministry has protected the perpetrators of violence. In fact, there is overwhelming public opinion within Sri Lanka that the Ministry masterminds these operations. Therefore, there is incompatibility between the Ministry and organisations whose mandate emanates from a duty to defend the basic democratic rights and freedoms of the people. It does not require an imagination to comprehend that the Ministry will use all its authority to crush those demanding accountability for human rights violations. Any move to grant power to the Ministry over the functioning of NGOs is manifestly unjust and done without good faith;

The Ministry of Defence cannot claim that its own actions and expenses have been conducted transparently, as required by the basic principles of constitutional law. The Ministry has more to hide than all Sri Lankan NGOs put together. Handing ‘watchdog of transparency’ responsibilities to the Ministry is hypocrisy, and certainly not in good faith.

In sum, a move to grant any power over the functioning of NGOs to the Ministry of Defence would be, as the saying goes, asking the fox to guard the chickens.

B) Transparency of Non-Governmental Organisations

AHRC wishes to clarify that its opposition to the Ministry of Defence having control over NGOs does not compromise its position that all NGOs and all civil society organisations need to observe the highest standards of transparency. NGOs in particular, as they are supposed to receive funds from foreign donors, have an extra obligation to behave impeccably on the subject of transparency.

Foreign funds are, in fact, donations given by taxpayers from different countries. The obligation to spend every cent of such donations for their intended purposes is among the highest obligations of any organisation that claims to uphold the interests of people. Under normal circumstances, such foreign funds are also earmarked for helping the poor. To scrounge any of such donations for purposes other than that for which they were originally intended cannot be justified by any standard of morality. On this issue, the public and the government, has a right to demand impeccable behaviour. Such a demand is compatible with the freedom of organisations to function for their objectives within a framework of democracy and the rule of law.

The AHRC also wishes to emphasise that no NGO should consider it to be their obligation to defend any other NGO that has violated the rules of trust by not observing their obligation to uphold transparency. As NGOs demand the highest standards of transparency and accountability from governments and the public sector, it is their obligation to stand up for the same when it comes to other NGOs.

That said, the AHRC wishes to emphasise that any claim for transparency and accountability on the part of the Rajapaksa government is hollow and lacks credibility. It is globally known that this is one of the most corrupt governments. A clear manifestation of this corruption is the manner in which the Commission against Bribery and Corruption has been destroyed under the Rajapaksa regime.

The AHRC has repeatedly stated that Sri Lanka is in dire need of a genuine agency committed to inquiry and prosecution of offences relating to corruption. AHRC has constantly pointed out that an agency similar to the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) in Hong Kong is the only way to allow all Sri Lankan institutions to perform with the highest levels of responsibility, accountability, and transparency.

The move by the government to introduce a law obligating NGOs to register under an agency of the Ministry of Defence is another of those ugly moments in Sri Lanka where a government that is naked demands that others should be clothed.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    1

    “Defence Ministry Has More To Hide”
    He is not doing a good job hiding and even if he does he will not get rid of the stink. Sri Lanka is stinking world over because of a handful of people and unfortunately the same people have thrown too into the stinking pit.

    • 11
      0

      AHRC

      RE: Defence Ministry Has More To Hide Than All NGOs Put Together: AHRC

      Yes, More to hide.

      So, What can we do?

      Expose, Expose, Expose, BOTH Locally and internationally..

      DO NOT ALLOW The Sl State and the Sinhala Buddhist Racist to cover up the carnage and criminality, committed in the Name of Buddhism.

      So, Expose, Expose and Expose. Send to every Foreign Ambassador in Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. Also send to every country where Sri Lanka has ambassadors and others and let then know that the Sri Lanka State lies. Give Facts. The Best antidote for the lies are facts.

      Expose, Expose and Expose ALL the lies, all the cockamamie lies, of the Sinhala Buddhist who have no shame. Other words besides lies are horse shit, absurd, role playing, silliness, bullshit, excuses, fucktard, full of shit, lies, spurious, and antisocial. Expose the lies of G. L. Peris, the Para-from South India. Buddha did not teach to lie. Use all the connections you have and expose the Sinhala “Buddhist” lies and Racism.

      Let ever visitor know, about it. Ask them to sign the petition below or any new petitions you can create.

      Internationalize, Internationalize, and Internationalize and distribute locally. Have a campaign to get every Sri Lankan Citizen have Facebook, Twitter and U-Tube account. Put up posters up as well. This is the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      If Para-Sinhalese “Buddhist” cannot live in peace in keeping with the Veddah Ethics with the other paras, Para-Sinhalese must leave for South India, where they came from. The DNA in them confirms that they are Paras.

      Sign the petition
      UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION: Charge the BODU BALA SENA,(BBS) Its Leader GNANASARA Thero for GENOCIDE

      http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/UN_HUMAN_RIGHTS_COMMISION_Charge_the_BODU_BALA_SENABBS_Its_Leader_GNANASARA_Thero_for_GENOCIDE/?copy

      Why this is important to me

      To STOP further GENOCIDE in Sri Lanka against its peaceful Muslim community similar to the Genocide unleased against them on 15th of June 2014, in southern Sri Lanka. 90% of the people of Sri Lanka are AGAINST this racist violence but NO ACTION is taken by the Government which indirectly supports this groups racist actions and agenda.

  • 5
    3

    Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral,

    An excert from the above article by Taylor Dibbert :

    “Let’s not let Sri Lanka become an example for authoritarian regimes across the global south. Right now — in the eyes of an ambitious authoritarian leader — Sri Lanka’s path may look like a decent way to crush an insurgency and completely disregard human rights and civil liberties more than five years after the fighting.

    Disturbingly, Nigerian military officials have even suggested that they may seek to emulate Sri Lankan-style counterinsurgency tactics to take on Boko Haram. This is a worrisome development and could portend an egregious disregard for civilian life and a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.”

  • 11
    3

    This guy Gotabaya – Secretary MOD is the Big Satan of Sri Lanka to be got rid of from the island before he does more grave harm to people.

    He can go to the US or to the Hague, we don’t care.

    He is a ‘human’ weapon of mass destruction, and spreading his genocidal philosophy worldwide to tackle insurgencies violating international humanitarian conventions. Nigeria is his first emulator it seems.

    He may even be profiting from his crimes against humanity techniques by selling his ideas to other authoritarian states.

  • 8
    3

    shamefully, the MoD has everything to hide including its Secretary who is a disgrace. Bensen

  • 5
    3

    You ain’t seen nuthin yet, buddy: Wait till Gota’s total war gota start sooner or later!

  • 3
    0

    Past GOTA = Citizen of DSROSL/USA.
    Present GOTA = MOD/UDA/BBS/nowNGOs.
    Future GOTA = Prime Minister/President/Dictator??????????

  • 1
    1

    AHRC,

    Why don’t AHRC file a Lawsuit against this Criminal DS in international criminal courts on his criminal and illegal activities and behaviour………

    It’s easy to file a lawsuit against him in any given democratic country and a case to follow even without his presence and to follow it up with an Arrest warrent when he travels abroad.

    He could be restricted to travel anywhere other than direct flights to a few Banana Republics who are his friends.

    Over to you AHRC. It’s time to bring him a charge sheet in international criminal and human rights court and to restrict his foreign travel and to freeze his illegal off shore black money laundering accounts. It’s time to investigate him and his close associates.

    • 3
      1

      Lasantha,
      Read and try to understand the AHRC’s statement. Sadly, there is no legitimacy to their statement on this internal policy of a sovereign country.

      1. It says the stance “has been to stifle any opposition against the Rajapaksa regime.” This is a speculation until it is proven. It can’t be proven because there are plenty of legitimate anti Sri Lankan entities like the Tamil diaspora, Tamil Nadu gov. who are trying to destabilize the country. MR and GR will always quote these legitimate reasons for clamping down some NGOs.

      2. “MoD is infamous for impunity and NGOs by definition are committed to ensuring accountability and opposing impunity
      Two things here. First, MOD does not have to be transparent based on security of the country. No country’s Defense arm show transparency. Take the US. How transparent are they? Does anybody know what they are up to? Impunity is exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action. This seen in gov. all over the world and Sri Lanka is not an exception.
      Second, not all NGOs are honest. Most of them are involved in bias activities and financial misconducts. Google your self for their illegitimate activities.

      3. The MoD itself has not been a paragon of transparency in its own actions as required by the principles of constitutional law; it has more to hide that all NGOs put together.
      I think it is a repeat of 2 above.I don’t know how the AHRC determined how non-transparency is against the principles of constitutional law of Sri Lanka. Even if it is, MR can get his regime to amend the law for the “security” of the country.

      My personal view is, NGOs that are funded by any foreign source directly or indirectly should register with the gov. as required and be fully transparent on their dealings and activities. I do not know why there is opposition by NGOs and other watch dogs like AHRC, if no illegitimate activities are anticipated. None of the western countries will allow any NGO to operate without gov. consent and registration. Do you think the US will allow any NGO to educate its voters? Why does everybody wants exceptions for Sri Lanka?
      Either it is MR gov. or any other gov. of the future they all should have control over NGOs who operate in our soil. Not to do so is foolish.

    • 0
      0

      You have to remember that the AHRC under its present leadership of Bijo Francis is all smoke and mirrors. They no longer have the international clout that they once had when Fernando was in charge.

  • 1
    1

    Actually in my my opinion he is not hiding anything or he is not capable or intelligent enough to hide his inner feelings or hatred as he think he is the Law and Law is him. swollen headed coward and megalomaniac.

    Once he said in an Interview referring to Gen.Fonseka “we will hang him” for treason.

    He used filthy language to answer Fredrica Janz’s inquiry for importing a puppy from Swiss. (Balu Case)

    Openly supporting and helping all “Balu Senawal” and challenging others to prove.

    Openly helping Political party candidates being a public servant.

    All these because of Spineless Military officers and Police officers as they betray gen. public for money and perks of this C/Donkey. Sleeping opposition and impotent society are equally responsible for this disaster.

  • 1
    1

    For what he did to innocent people (me and my Muslim brothers, sisters and their children) living in Aluthgama/Beruwela and Dharga Nagar trough his proxies BBS, police, STF and army combined, I too support AHRC call to expose his (MoD Sec.Gen. Gota the goon) agenda of violating all civic rights of NGOs and destroy all norms of decency in his bid to militarily crush all opposition, thus ensuring a return to power, through a rigged election results in favor of his brother’s party. It is definitely going to happen again for the 3rd time around, to promote his brother MR to sit on the throne through deviant means (unconstitutional) and serve a third term as President.

  • 1
    1

    I never thought that an educated (fool) like him could have been purchased by offering a lap top! People like Malinda are the ones who is bringing Sri Lanka down to the drain. Shameless character.

  • 3
    1

    How dare Rajapaksa’s ask us to register our NGO’s?
    It is free for all in all other countries – no objectives, financial record keeping or registration needed. And that is how we like it to be :-)
    http://m.wikihow.com/Start-Your-Own-Ngo-in-India

  • 4
    0

    The Asian Human Rights commission is like the kettle calling the pot black. Where does it get its funding from?

    Where is its offices located – in Hong Kong, a backyard of China where Human Rights are perfectly well maintained and so UNHRC has nothing to say about it.

    Who are the affiliates of the UNHRC? LTTE Catholic priests and, if Pope Francis understatement is right, one in every 25 of them are pedophiles. Who are the other associates of the UNHRC? LTTE-rump Diaspora individuals in canada and Australia.

  • 2
    1

    Anyone has to look after the interest of those who maintain them. In the case of most foreign funded NGOs its the neocolonialists that pay them. Needless to say then, NGOs are proxies and puppets of neocons.

    Knowing what colonialists have done to Sri Lanka we can imagine what their descendants aim to do through their puppets and proxies. So, it is absurd to allow proxies and puppets of neocons (NGOs) to operate as simple business companies when they engage in completely different things to normal businesses.

    Defence Ministry is a part of the government elected by the people. If foreign elements manipulate to undermine the will of the elected government through proxies and puppets, then it is the duty of the intelligence arm of the Defence Ministry to study that game and put an end to it. We have seen the US spying even their friends like Germany, Brazil etc. Imagine what they do to us through these NGOs.

    Public hate NGOs. So, the government must tighten the noose around their neck.

    • 1
      1

      Ha ha Banda, you think CT’s moron readers have the brains to comprehend these?

      • 1
        1

        you calling yourself a moron reader, Paul?

      • 1
        1

        paul-iban

        “Ha ha Banda, you think CT’s moron readers have the brains to comprehend these?”

        Banda does not read, think nor write. He just copy and past. Even he doesn’t comprehend what he has just posted here.

        • 1
          0

          Prove your claim NV. Where did he copy this from?. If you can not I will call you another b…s… artist roaming on these pages

          • 0
            0

            paul-iban

            Some weeks ago Ken Robert caught him red handed and provided the link to the article that Banda copied and pasted as his own work.

            Banda owned up to his habitual plagiarism.

  • 1
    0

    When Gandasara Thero gets money form NGO he became an NGO, did he regist Balu Bala Sena as a NGO?

  • 1
    0

    Where are pillay, canada’s harper and england’s cameron hiding when we need them?. celebrating the genocide and child massacres going on in gazza?

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