3 INGOs to be sent home

By Leon Berenger

At least three International NGOs will be asked to cease their operations in the country for poor performance and failing to adhere to certain regulations, a senior government official disclosed yesterday.

The three organisations have been identified as two Norwegian-based INGOs – Norwegian People’s Aid and the FORUT -- and the Nertherlands-based ZOA.

“Investigations show that these organizations had a poor record in their work and it has been recommended that they be asked to shut down their operations in the country,” the official said.
The three INGOS are now based in Vavuniya after returning from the Wanni conflict zones in September and apparently they were idle with little or no work at present, the official said.

He charged there was evidence that at least one organization was over sympathetic to the LTTE and it had even allowed some of its machinery to be used by the separatists for the construction of bunkers and other fortifications.

“However several other INGOs had nonetheless done some excellent work both in the north and elsewhere and it was highly appreciated”, the official added. At present there are 12 INGOs based in Vavuniya.

F. Hashim, the Deputy Director of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA), said he was not aware of any such move but a decision to terminate the services of an INGO could be taken after certain procedures were followed.

Meanwhile JVP parliamentary group leader Vijitha Herath who heads the Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the operations of NGOs and INGOs said that at least one of these INGOs had appeared before the Committee and it was found that its work in Sri Lanka was suspicious.

The Interim Report of the Select Committee is expected to be presented to Parliament before December 8 when Parliament sittings will end for this year.

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