NED grants to Sri Lankan Groups
Posted on March 31st, 2014

Mahinda Gunasekera Toronto, Canada

March 31, 2014

Mr. Carl Gershman
President
National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington DC 20004, USA

Dear Mr. Gershman,

Re: Grants made by the NED to Sri Lankan Groups

I am a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin who is very much concerned about funding programs and group activities initiated by you in Sri Lanka.  It is somewhat troubling to note that your organization has been making financial grants to various groups in Sri Lanka especially with your track record of using funds to cultivate activists who could be brainwashed to become dissenters in other lands leading to disruption of prevailing peace and stability in those parts of the world.  I would like to know if the grants made to the under noted groups was done with the consent or covering approval of the state authorities in Sri Lanka?

I came across an article written by William Blum where he states that your organization is carrying out some of the duties entrusted to the CIA, and working hand in glove with that intelligence establishment in furthering the USA’s predominant goal of global control and domination through destabilization of regimes that steer an independent path.  I have extracted two short paras from his article titled ‘Trojan Horse’ published in the Third World Traveler, viz. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/TrojanHorse_RS.html, which I am giving below for your easy reference;   

It was a masterpiece. Of politics, of public relations and of cynicism. Thus it was that in 1983, the National Endowment for Democracy was set up to “support democratic institutions throughout the world through private, nongovernmental efforts”. Notice the “nongovernmental”-part of the image, part of the myth. In actuality, virtually every penny of its funding comes from the federal government, as is clearly indicated in the financial statement in each issue of its annual report. NED likes to refer to itself as an NGO (non-governmental organization) because this helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have. But NGO is the wrong category. NED is a GO.

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” In effect, the CIA has been laundering money through NED.

I came across the following grants made by your organization to Sri Lankan groups which I am listing below.  All of the grants relate to Rules, Rights, Accountability, Freedoms and such other subjects which are available to the citizens of Sri Lanka as defined by the Fundamental Rights Chapter of the National Constitution.  Sri Lankans are well versed with Rights and have an abundance of of lawyers to advise the members of the community on all of these matters.  I am aware that the NED was a product of the Reagan era established to quicken the break up of the Soviet Republic. What I found mainly objectionable to your program is that it is all about Rights but not one iota about Obligations on the part of the individuals and groups towards the country of which they are a part.  I find this strange, because one of the great Presidents of the USA, the late John F. Kennedy’s, finest quotes was: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country‘ in order that a nation may develop and progress in peace.   We Sri Lankans have been nurtured in that spirit of fulfilling one’s obligations to one another, which results in all rights being protected along with corresponding obligations being met within society.  It is an aspect that has long been inculcated in the ethos of the people who have grown up midst the Buddhist Teachings and Values which are held in the highest esteem.

I was particularly struck by a grant given to a group called ‘Rights Now – Collective for Democracy’ which was earlier listed with the rest of the funding recipients but subsequently placed elsewhere on your website, which was later found only on a search within the site.  I received an email from this group about a meeting that they hosted on March 10, 2014 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo.  I understand from an attendee that there was one non-Sri Lankan participant most likely from the US Embassy who was following the proceedings with special instantaneous translation facilities made available to him.  This type of indoctrination with ‘Rights Now’ with the corresponding call for ‘Obligations’ being totally ignored, and the presence of a representative of either the US Embassy or NED should be frowned up, as it seriously affects the good relations between the USA and Sri Lanka built on goodwill and non-interference in the internal affairs of the other.

http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/asia/sri-lanka

Asian Human Rights Commission Limited
Rule of Law
$30,000
Networking Asian Lawyers in Support of the Rule of Law and Judicial Independence

Bar Association of Sri Lanka
Rule of Law
$30,000
Building Support among Lawyers for Adherence to International Human Rights Norms

Center for Peoples Dialogue
Freedom of Information
$10,000
Training Civil Society Activist in Citizen Journalism


Centre for Human Rights and Development
Human Rights
$60,000
Seeking Redress for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Families of the Disappeared
Human Rights
$20,000
Raising Awareness about Disappearances and Human Rights

Home for Human Rights
Accountability
$40,000

Janawaboda Kendraya
Civic Education
$31,000
Increasing Citizen Engagement through Drama and Discussion

Solidarity Center
Freedom of Association
$463,000
Defending Core Labor Rights

Transparency International Sri Lanka
Accountability
$45,000

Verite Research Pvt. Ltd.
Accountability
$58,000
Parliamentary Tracking Tool for Accountability and Good Governance

Viluthu, Ltd.
Civic Education
$60,000
Strengthening Civil Society through Study Circles

Sri Lanka | National Endowment for Democracy
To document human rights violations and to assist in efforts to seek redress and justice. The Centre for … Rights NowCollective for Democracy $31,000
www.ned.org/publications/annual-reports/2012-annual…/sri-lanka

Yours sincerely,

Mahinda Gunasekera
Toronto, Canada

One Response to “NED grants to Sri Lankan Groups”

  1. Sooriarachi Says:

    In keeping with transparency and accountability principles supposed to be cherished values of the Western Nations (though they are very selective in practice), I propose that the Sri Lankan Authorities keep the nation well informed on a continuing basis, the names of the foreign funded organisations and what funds they receive, just like what is shown in this article. The medium for such information could be the notice boards of Libraries, Municipal Councils and other similar public institutions spread around the nation and easily accessible. Such a list could also be published in government owned journals, like the Lakehouse newspapers. Let the people judge for themselves.

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