- by Nadira Gunatileke
Making proper use of NGO funds
In Sinhala language there is a saying ‘Deyak we nam yam, Sudussatama
ayithi viya yuthu’ (`If there is something, it should belong to the
eligible person’). We have to talk about this today because when things
get into wrong hands it has something to do with anti Sri Lankan
elements, our identity and sovereignty.
According to Social Services and Social Welfare Deputy Minister
Lionel Premasiri, we should make use of the funds flowing into INGOs and
NGOs while not letting them to execute any offenses.
During an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Deputy Minister
Premasiri said that a significant amount of foreign funds flow into Sri
Lanka through INGOs and NGOs and we need to make maximum use of those
funds while not letting them to involve in any anti Sri Lankan
activities. He also suggested some systems to do so.
Sri Lanka is still a developing country and as ordinary Sri Lankans
we cannot afford to study abroad or undergo training abroad spending our
Therefore the majority of Sri Lankans look for scholarships and
similar opportunities all the time to gain knowledge and training. A lot
of state and private sector institutions receive such opportunities and
they distribute them among local institutions, individuals and groups.
There is an accepted well established procedure and criteria for the
State sector to do the selection but in the private sector it is not so.
‘Sri Lankans going abroad on private sector scholarships pretending
to be professionals’ is one of the main problems at the moment. There is
an important reason for me to recall one such incident. It is because
this is happening all the time here in Sri Lanka without anyone noticing
it. According to my knowledge, in 2003 a group of journalists were sent
on a scholarship to a Nordic country.
There have been allegations that some of them were not journalists.
So how they were selected to that scholarship? The scholarship came
through an NGO. Some of the journalists who went on that scholarship
revealed their real faces after they returned to Sri Lanka.
They were working for NGOs. They did not have any connection
whatsoever to journalism, mass communication or mass media. They did not
have even basic qualifications. They did not have the accreditation
issued by the Government Information Department.
The system of allocating percentages for each ethnicity is also very
funny and strange. After learning the truth, the other rejected
applicants raised their voices against the injustice done to them. There
was no response at all from the NGO.
There were several other similar incidents in the past. Some of the
persons who went abroad on scholarships could not understand, speak or
write English. The other participants acted as their `interpreters’ all
the time because of typical Sri Lankan caring nature.
What happens here is NGOs select some eligible persons (just to be on
the safe side) and put their favourites to fill rest of the places.
When this happens unsuitable persons go abroad pretending that they
are journalists, communicators, information officers and producers. No
wonder they vanish into thin air just after landing on those cold rich
Not having any English knowledge may be an advantage for them.
It is interesting to see what happens after these `journalists’ go to
those foreign countries. The countries which offer us scholarships have
a very clear agenda. Their main objectives are completely destroying the
identity, sovereignty, and history of the country. They have a very
cunning way of doing it. They have included their strategy in their
`modules’. The longest and most `important’ `module’ is `Peace
During this module, the students who speak about victims of bomb
blasts, massacres carried out by the terrorists, social services and
social welfare services carried out by Sri Lankan armed forces, how arms
reach the terrorists (not rebels) from foreign countries become the
least talented students who get minimum marks.
The students who talk about `the rights of the terrorists become most
talented students who get the highest number of marks. Conflicts in the
third world countries are being interpreted in a very strange manner
during this module whitewashing terrorists and offending the
democratically elected Governments.
Any person who has an iota of brain and passed the eighth grade can
understand that we have to stick to academic facts which is balanced
when it comes to teaching any subject. There is a huge difference
between teaching and brainwashing. We have to make use of all resources
coming through private channels while not letting them brainwash