Posted on August 26th, 2016


The term “Non-governmental organization” (NGO) came into existence in 1945 when the United Nations was set up. The UN granted ‘observer status’ to approved ‘International non-state agencies’ (NGOs) and permitted them to   attend UN assemblies and meetings. Today any private organization which is not a   political party or a profit making company is called an NGO.

There are several categories of NGOs. Some like Berghof Foundation are quasi–government; they receive state subsidies (QUANGOs).  Others are funded by foreign governments   and act like extensions of government (GONGOs). It is alleged that they are   used for hidden agendas. USA’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) critics say, is a CIA front,  fully funded by US government.

Organizations such as ‘Human Rights Watch’, ‘Transparency International’ and ‘Amnesty International’ are international NGOs with branches worldwide (INGOs).  They are funded by private agencies, such as Soros, Rockefeller, Ford Foundation, who have strong links to foreign governments. Critics see nothing rosy in this either. They have roundly condemned the funding agencies of certain INGOs and those behind them, as corrupt, dishonest and warmongering. Some NGOs have misleading names. ‘Asian Human Rights Commission’ suggests a dignified supra government organization set up by sovereign states. Instead it is a modest,   Hong Kong based, private NGO.

Today, practically every sovereign state has a huge number of NGOs working inside it. Critics charge that this sudden rise of NGOs is a part of the western policy of world dominance, which starts with interference in the internal politics of countries.  NGOs intervene in domestic politics  and help to install puppet governments. They encourage citizens to challenge elected government, usually under the guise of ‘protesting’ against something. . They charge governments with corruption and human rights violations on flimsy grounds. They clamor for foreign intervention  and work toward changing public opinion.   They are also used for intelligence gathering.

Critics say NGOs helped to split Sudan and create South Sudan (2011).   Russia said that the west is using NGOs to destabilize Russia. Therefore internationally funded NGOs would be registered as ‘foreign agents’ and subject to rigorous checks (2012).  NGOs in Mozambique are accused of ruining the local health system.”

The NGO sector in Sri Lanka has grown significantly.  In 2012, there were approximately 1300, 50% in Colombo and 20% in north and east.  NGOs can be registered in Sri Lanka as a company, society, charity or trust. There are 10   routes to choose from. Most NGOs are small with less than 10 full time staff. They do not have a membership base. They are funded by foreign organizations. Lists of these foreign funding organizations running to over twenty names per NGO are given repeatedly by journalists writing on the subject.  One NGO admitted that if the foreign funding dried up all activities would stop (Daily News 23.4.10 p 6). The NGOs have interlocking directorates  and the heads of important NGOs are invited to the ‘diplomatic cocktail circuit’.

The NGOs active in Sri Lanka politics today are implanted organizations, not home grown. They are financed by western countries and managed by paid local agents. The term ‘civil society’ was   resurrected to incorporate them into the political life of Sri Lanka. These organizations are dangerous and should be kept under surveillance.

The main focus of these ‘political’ NGOs is the Tamil separatist cause. They sided with the LTTE in the Eelam war and supported the Ceasefire agreement of 2002. NGOs in the north-east assisted the LTTE. They gained access to sensitive areas on the pretext of providing humanitarian aid to these areas. One NGO allowed LTTE to use their heavy equipment for building barricades.  The Kilinochchi project manager of   ZOA  had joined the LTTE. Heads of NGOs travelled abroad repeatedly to lobby against the government. They said Sri Lanka was a failed state, the government could not win the Eelam war,  and it should go for a ‘political solution’. In 2004 National Bhikku Front marched from Pettah to President’s house to hand over a petition demanding an immediate ban on pro-LTTE anti –Buddhist NGOs.

When the Eelam war ended, the NGOs turned on the armed forces, alleging human rights violations.  They wanted a war crimes probe at UN level. This was clearly a fallback position planned well ahead.   NGO representatives from Sri Lanka  re-started  lobbying against Sri Lanka in the UN. The NGOs were also interested in entrenching the Tamils in the north east. Foundation for Coexistence had conducted a survey of land ownership of the Tamil and Muslim residents in the eastern province, to give them deeds, but did not focus on the Sinhalese residents.

NGOs were entrusted with regime change. In 2012  a panel of university teachers warned the public   that NGOs were working to destabilize the government, as was done in Egypt. They named Transparency International, a university trade union and 12 NGOs (Daily News 30.11.12 p 1). In the same year, NGOs had funded trade union leaders and farmers to organize protests against the government. NGOs   also worked on changing public attitudes.  They have been thanked for influencing the Presidential election of 2015 and securing a win for President Sirisena.  NGOs are now working to create public support for ‘devolution’ and ‘federalism’ at local level.

It was suggested in 2000, that the international community had a “right to protect” citizens of any country from crimes against humanity. This   was termed Responsibility to Protect” (R2P). Critics said that R2P was concocted to justify foreign intervention in domestic affairs of countries.  An attempt to make a Sri Lanka NGO (ICES) into a Global R2P Centre”  was squashed by the government of Sri Lanka.

These NGOs show a callous disregard for the general welfare of the country. ‘Political watch’ says Centre for Policy Alternatives declared, incorrectly,   that  Sri Lanka did not qualify for an extension of the  European Union  Generalized Scheme of Preferences” (GSP)  as it had not fully incorporated the ICCPR provisions into their local legislation. (Sunday Island. 9.8.2009 p 9). The GSP concession allowed developing countries to pay less or no duties on their exports to the EU.

There is a deep rooted mistrust of NGOs in Sri Lanka.  These NGOs are up to no good, they are promoting foreign agendas and engaging in various anti national activities  quite openly, said observers. They have been set up to destabilize and divide the country. Critics observed that the NGOs appearing against Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council, Geneva, as ‘voluntary’ organizations, were NGOs that had been funded by the very same   western governments that had sponsored the action against Sri Lanka.  These NGOs are ‘are funded by countries that are against us. Then they use the findings of these NGOs to support their position’, critics exclaimed.


The Select Committee of Parliament investigating NGOs found that a large number of NGOs violated state policy, contravened laws,  and engaged in activities that directly threatened Sri Lanka defence  and sovereignty.  Unlike other countries, there is no mechanism in Sri Lanka to regulate and monitor them.  The existing laws cannot control their anti-Sri Lanka activities either.   Government should start to control these NGOs,   prevent them disseminating misinformation and keep a close eye on their propaganda campaigns, critics said.


These NGOs receive massive funds. One NGO got Rs 272 million, another got Rs 174 million and a third got Rs 171 million between 2001 and 2004 from Norway alone. For the Presidential election of 2010, an NGO got around 51 million.  It was alleged that NED, mentioned previously as CIA, was funding several Sri Lanka NGOs too. Before 1977 funds for NGOs were channeled through the Foreign Ministry and the government had a very good control over all NGOs. But after 1977 this changed. Today there is no scrutiny of the funds received by these NGOs.

NGOs take a very lofty position, talking of rights, wrongs, truth, justice, governance but they themselves were not very straight when it came to money, possibly because those working in the NGOs were not rich. Accepted standards of auditing and accounting were not followed and there was little transparency in their finances, said investigators. NGOs said their accountability was only to their financiers abroad.  Local critics said they would also like to know.  However, information on how NGO monies are spent was not readily available and one journalist concluded ‘This NGO business is one colossal scam. Another said ‘We need a class of respectable people who live off their own private businesses or earnings while playing a role in society as community figures.’


Transparency international was given a huge sum of money, alleged to be around 8 million, to do a study of the police service. The study contained nothing of use and could not have cost much.  It was full of trite nonsense of little use to anybody . So where did the money go?  This sort of thing runs through virtually every project that I have examined, said one journalist. (Sunday Island 7.3.2010 p 11)  In another case, it was observed that if the money given for monitoring elections has been correctly spent, by this time, there should be an entire army of committed volunteers all over the country which could be mobilized each time an election is announced.


  1. plumblossom Says:

    Mr. Udaya Gammanpila Sir,

    Apart from highly commending you for taking legal action against the treacherous CBK (Chaura Rejina) regarding the defamatory and utter lies she keeps repeating to defame her rivals, legal action should be taken against her for stating that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial Councils within the new constitution. Does this evil woman CBK think she owns Sri Lanka and that she is the one who is going to draw up the new constitution of Sri Lanka (according to the wishes of the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists)? The constitution of Sri Lanka should satisfy first and foremost the majority of people of this island i.e. the Sinhala people and the Sinhala people firstly do not want to draw up a new constitution nor do they want any more powers whatsoever be provided to the provincial councils especially land, police and fiscal or to illegally merge the North and the East.

    Someone has to go to the supreme court and take action against treacherous CBK for suggesting that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial councils within the yet to be drawn up constitution since this means the treacherous Ranil, Sirisena, CBK and Mangala have already drawn up a constitution to satisfy the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists which is illegal.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    When looking at Sri Lanka’s history, it is extremely obvious that from 600BC to around 1400AD there were three kingdoms, all Sinhala Buddhist, Ruhuna, Pihiti or Rajarata and Maya or Malayarata. Rajarata encompassed today’s North Central, North Western, Northern and even the Central Province. Ruhunu rata encompassed today’s Uva, Eastern and Southern Provinces. The Kandyan Kingdom from 1400AD encompassed most of the island inclusive of today’s Northern and the Eastern Provinces except for the Jaffna Peninsula. Even the Jaffna Peninsula was invaded and occupied by force by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan) and actually did belong to Rajarata earlier and later the Kandyan Kingdom.

    Today’s provincial boundaries were drawn up by the British colonialists as per their divide and rule policy and the Sinhala people were not consulted when drawing up these provincial boundaries. In the meantime, most Sri Lankan Tamils of today were actually brought over during Dutch and British times to the Jaffna Peninsula and elsewhere to work on tobacco and indigo plantations which were planted extensively in all the colonies since they were much sought after and made a lot of money for the colonialists. Therefore they are recent arrivals and cannot claim homelands or separate states whatsoever.

    The usual practice when a colonial power hands over their former colonies is to hand it over to its original owners. Therefore the British colonialists should hand over the Kandyan Kingdom to the Kandyan Sinhalese from whom they took it by force. Since the Kandyan Kingdom encompassed the North and the East, these provinces too should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese who are its rightful owners. Even the Jaffna Peninsula should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese since it was part of Rajarata and was forcefully occupied by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan).

    Since this has now been done already, the TNA and other separatist terrorists or the US, UK EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India cannot demand that present day Northern or even the Eastern provinces be provided any more powers or be made into federal states since this is totally going against the history and archaeology of the island and totally going against the rights of the Sinhala people who also have fundamental rights to claim the entire island inclusive of the North and the East as their homeland first and foremost. Therefore, the TNA , the separatist terrorists, the US, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India has to respect the history and archaeology of the island and accept that the present day provincial councils are more than sufficient to run the affairs of the provinces. Sri Lanka must be a unitary state and no more powers should be provided to the provincial councils. In fact, when talking about the 13th amendment, the concurrent list subjects must be included in the national list. The provision where two provinces can merge should be deleted. The bogus claim of the North and the East being the homeland of the Tamil speaking people should be deleted. The entire island should be declared the homeland of all its peoples.

    Sinhala people should be resettled in the North in quite a large number if there is to be peace and harmony within the island since Sinhala people have every historical right to live in the North as well as the East. It is only due to ethnic cleansing of the North of Sinhala people by the LTTE and the other separatists that Sinhala people are not at present living in the North. Many thousands of landless elsewhere in the island especially Sinhala people should be provided land in the North since most of the vacant land in the country is in the North and in the East since both these provinces encompass over 28% of the land area of the island. Then only will there be peace since when people mix, there is more harmony. This is the only way towards peace and development in the island.

  3. L Perera Says:

    Recently, CBK stated that her father SWRD introduced the Sinhala only bill in order to give the majority Sinhalese their rightfully place in the country. But, has conveniently forgotten that he scrapped the GCE Advanced Level (UK) examinations from being held in SL from 1961 and opted to educate his daughters Sunethra and Chandrika at Oxford and Sobourne.

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