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    Govt. circular no attempt to suppress NGOs – PM Featured

    July 11, 2014

    Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said in Parliament today (11) that the government had not taken any action to control the nongovernmental organizations but reminded them to adhere to certain principles which those organizations had agreed to follow when they had been formed.

    Responding to a question raised by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Premier said the NGOs were bound to act within the guidelines they had agreed when they were registered. Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Government Organizations, under the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development issued a circular on July 1, 2014 instructing the NGOs to act within the framework of guidelines they had been expected. It was not a circular giving orders but a circular of instructions.

     

    The Prime Minister said this type of circulars are issued by other countries as well. It is a well known fact that certain NGOs operating in Sri Lanka had acted beyond their aims and objectives. Some of them were found procuring arms for the LTTE. Instructing the NGOs to act within the mandate they had been given at the time of their registration should not be interpreted as an attempt to tear up the Constitution and violating the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, he added.

     

    Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the government of ‘attempting to tear up Constitution’ of the country by banning Nongovernmental organizations to hold press conferences, workshops, training for journalists and distributing press releases.

     

    Making a special statement Wickremesinghe said that it was a blatant attempt by the Government to control all non-governmental organizations, an attempt to negate the rights conferred under the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He said the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Government Organizations, under the Ministry of Defence & Urban Development had issued a circular No. MOD/NGO/mon/4 dated 1.7.2014 requesting NOGs not to conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases.

     

    Special Reporter

    Last modified on Friday, 11 July 2014 20:26

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