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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2615

'Deny funds to anti-national NGOs'

By Janaka Perera

The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) has urged the Rajapaksa Government to deny foreign funds to any organization that has questioned the country's sovereignty and advocated power sharing with the LTTE.

WAPS representatives made this appeal at a media briefing held at the Royal Asiatic Society office at Mahaweli Centre, Colombo on Wednesday – the same day the government banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. WAPS comprises of Sri Lankan expatriates across the globe committed to the cause of defeating separatist terrorism. Among the representatives present at the media briefing were Dasarath Jayasuriya (Australia), Mahinda Gunasekera (Canada) and Ira de Silva (Canada).

Commenting on the fall of Kilinochchi and Elephant Pass, they said:

"The victory that we have won has been against a host of local and international forces. We urge the government to stand firm and resist external powers that want to dictate to us how we should govern our country. We have been at the receiving end of such unsolicited advice for 500 years. A major tool of foreign interference has been foreign-funded non-governmental organizations – literally a few individuals fattened by foreign money masquerading as civil society. It is their lies that we at WAPS had often to counteract."

WAPS representatives stressed the need for ensuring that what Sri Lanka has won in war will be not lost in peace.

"Forces, both internal and external, that in many ways tried to prevent the military victory are now waiting to change the victory to camouflaged defeat. We should remind ourselves that this time it is not like the 1980s where India having trained and armed the separatist insurgent groups imposed the 13th Amendment against all international norms. WAPS considers the 13th Amendment as a travesty imposed on a small nation by a regional bully as part of her external policy."

The representatives urged that suitable grass-root models be explored including India's Panchayat system. Devolution to political party officials should not extend beyond the district, according to WAPS. In addition it has recommended a more equitable power sharing arrangement at the Centre where the minorities would be drawn into the decision-making process from the policy-making stage to the implementation stage through fair representation in special Parliamentary Sub-Committees and Experts Committees, where they would participate in the day-to-day governance of the nation.

WAPS has called on the government to speedily develop the North and East so that the development the LTTE denied them could be quickly made up. The model, the representatives suggested, should be the multi-ethnic Western Province where all ethnic and religious communities live side by side.

WAPS came into being on the heels of the World Federation of Overseas Sri Lankans, at the time of Chandrika Kumaratunga's questionable leadership and the weak-willed Ranil Wickremesinghe Government.

Observed a WAPS spokesperson:

"In those dark days when the government itself became conduit for LTTE propaganda we attempted to tell the truth. Our activities across the globe including in Norway as well as events we organized in Sri Lanka helped expose Tiger perfidy as well as those of our then ruling cliques."

WAPS member organizations include:

Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka (SPUR), Victoria, Australia,

Sri Lankans Against Terrorism (SLAT), North South Wales, Australia,

Canadian Association for United Sri Lanka (CAUS), Canada,

Sri Lanka United National Association (SLUNA), Canada,

United Sinhalese Association, Rome, Italy,

Ape Shakti Sanvidhanaya, Auckland, New Zealand,

Sinhala Association of Sri Lankans, United Kingdom and

New York Society of United Sri Lankans, United States of America .

- Asian Tribune -

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