Concerns of 'Piece' Mongers
By S. Akurugoda
Jan 31, 2009
The war is coming to an end and the LTTE's surrogates and indirect proxies, foreign funded NGOs have been shown by our advancing troops to have substantially helped the LTTE. Although the public is not fully aware of the contents of the "Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for Investigation of the Operations of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)" and their Impact, we have read a press release issued by one such NGO the National Peace Council (NPC) that appeared in the Sri Lankan Guardian dated 23 December 2008.
It quotes from the relevant sections referring to the NPC: "It too is an NGO operating to propagate federalism. An organiser of the National Peace Council had once attended a protest in Geneva and also had made a speech in a rally held later which ended with the singing of the song of emancipation of the LTTE. This organisation, which questions the need for sovereignty, has mentioned about a sovereignty divided into two and of two very close countries. The National Peace Council had engaged in a movement to brainwash the people of Sri Lanka which is very similar to the activities of the Berghof Foundation. They had acted very enthusiastically about federalism." The English language in this quotation is clumsy as evidently the original NGO Report would have been in Sinhala and then translated.
The NPC press release claims that the comments on the NPC are unjust, and do not give a proper representation of NPC objectives and work. Indeed the Select Committee is 'unjust' because it does not give a 'proper' and sufficient representation of NPC antinational objectives.
Let us go through the true objectives and work of the NPC.
The vision statement of the NPC considers the LTTE as an integral part of 'the solution'. Clearly the NPC wants to whitewash the LTTE, a banned organisation in Sri Lanka and many key countries, and bring it out as a civilised entity.
NPC, whose annual budget is said to be in excess of 70 millions SL Rupees or 5, 000, 000 Euros, is now funded by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), European Union (EU), Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD) and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) in addition to several other foreign agencies of the US, Canada and Germany (based on the information provided in NPC website).
The website of the above funding agency the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development gives CAFOD's mission as promoting human development and social justice in witness to Christian faith and Gospel values (emphasis mine). The NPC, Berghof and their ilk should actually be categorised as lobbyist NGOs. Depending entirely on foreign governments and agencies they carry on the White Man's Burden and have a function similar to Christian missionaries during the high colonial era.
A comprehensive discussion of the motives and work of NPC and its executive director are given in the Sections ' National Peace Council-A War Front for Propaganda' (Page 116-121) and 'Jehan Perera: Sovereignty and Democracy at any Cost' (Page 180-181) of a book authored by Dr Susantha Goonatilake Recolonisation, Foreign Funded NGOs in Sri Lanka. The findings of Dr. Goonatilake based on tight documentation, show that according to the NPC their programme participants were 'targets' (the words used by the NPC) who were selected to be 'educated' in NPC's ideology and paid to attend these meetings. The book illustrates how a complex history and complicated situation in Sri Lanka was simplified into a perspective fitting the NPC's declared pro LTTE views. The details of the NPC organiser participating in an LTTE rally is given in the book and had been taken from a Tiger publication which also has a picture of the NPC marching and going in procession with the LTTE. Details of how the brainwashing is being done by the NPC and their ilk are given in the book quoting only the documents of these NGOs.
Anyone going through the media releases and the writings of the NPC (apart from their other activities), since its inception in 1995, will see the extent of damage done to the sovereignty of our nation as it promoted the LTTE as an integral part of their so-called solutions. They were attempting to cover-up the LTTE terror campaign including the dastardly attacks on Katunayake Airport and the attack on Pakistan High Commissioner among many other grisly assaults. It was denouncing the Government's effort to eradicate terrorism, placing the military capacity of the GOSL on an equal footing with the LTTE and trying to project the LTTE as invincible. As part of its antinational agenda it attacked Sinhalese especially Buddhist monks who were against terrorism, branding people with opposing views as Sinhala Extremists.
They were also one of the key promoters of Ranil Wickramasinghe as he handed over to the LTTE large sections of Sri Lanka to govern. Their sympathies during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections were not difficult to trace. In their desire to break up Sri Lanka they equated the mythical Tamil Eelam nation to Kosovo. They justified international intervention (including through the UN and US). In an article in the Daily News justifying the arrival of Indian troops 20 years ago Jehan Perera gleefully said that the Indian Army will teach the Sri Lankan government a lesson. They have been calling for solutions manufactured from the outside spending billions of Rupees got from foreign donors which money should have gone to the poor people in the country. These piece mongers and their colonial masters in the West were behind the propaganda on behalf of Tamil racism in general and the LTTE in particular. Without the active backing of NGOs, LTTE propaganda would not have been effective.
As Kath Noble pointed out in an article 'Let there be oversight' (The Island dated December 31, 2008), "NGOs can't and shouldn't be allowed to self-regulate. They want to believe that the money they receive belongs to those who have given it, so pleasing their donors is enough. But it isn't. Funds raised in the name of the people of this country, playing on their sufferings and undertaking to solve their problems, are rightfully theirs".… "There are absolutely no democratic controls over public money that is handled by NGOs".
"Employees (NGO) may believe what they want, but they don't have any particular right to use public money to ram their beliefs down the throats of people who might rather spend it on doctors and teachers, for example. And they especially don't have any particular right to get funds from people overseas who may have their own agendas for this country. .." 'They instead offer weak explanations as to why they are the only people who don't need any oversight. It is shameful!"
While maintaining a tight lip over the atrocities committed by the LTTE and issues of human rights violations by the terror outfit including the use of children combatants, use of civilians as a human shield etc, these self styled human rights and peace champions including the NPC are engaged in subversion. Whenever terrorists and their supporters are in trouble they actively and systematically engage in tarnishing the image of the country and its security forces. Their activities parallel the LTTE's global propaganda campaign against the Sinhalese, especially Sinhalese Buddhists.
The very same people, in a most recent statement appearing in Daily Mirror dated 20 January 2009 under the heading 'The mixed message of the military solution', have made an attempt to compare the cost of the military solution against the utterly failed 'peace process of 2002' which handed over large chunks of territory to the LTTE. This article has to be seen as a large ditch effort to prevent the Armed Forces from regaining the country. Apart from the high cost of the so-called peace process and the 'public money' being wasted in millions of rupees on 'peace mongers', how many valuable and innocent lives were lost by standing for terrorism and allowing the terrorist to get militarily stronger under the name of a pseudo, moneymaking PEACE process?
People in their right mind would understand that praising terror and condemning the forces against terror will not achieve peace and harmony. Praising terror of course has been very profitable to these NGOs. These false prophets should be made accountable for what they said in the past and their misdeeds.
As Rajpal Abeynayake quite rightly identified in his article 'The cost of war and peace' in the Lakbimanews of last Sunday, a successful military action against terrorism may deprive the day jobs of those waging PEACE. Losing their lucrative jobs must be of real concern to them. But much more important, such persons who had supported the LTTE should be brought under the full weight of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution. This bans supporting separatism in the country. The NPC and similar ilk should be immediately investigated. The evidence for their crimes is easy to find, one has only to read the antinational statements made by these organisations.