J.C. Weliamune needs to be brought to book, urgently
Posted on July 6th, 2010

Ajit Randeniya

The term “ƒ”¹…”fallacy’ in philosophy refers to misconceptions resulting from incorrect reasoning in argumentation: for example, an argument based on assertions that presuppose issues that have not been accepted by all the people involved in the debate is referred to as logical fallacy “ƒ”¹…”of many questions’ (Latin: plurium interrogationum), distinct from the other major fallacy of “ƒ”¹…”question begging’.

 The above elucidation is needed to fully evaluate the attempts of the rogue who symbolises financial and intellectual dishonesty in Sri Lankan soceity, J.C. Weliamuna in two articles posted on the subversive “ƒ”¹…”Transcurrents’ website which appears to have taken the place of Tamilnet, using the D. Sivaram technique.

 The case for NGOs presented in Weliamuna’s two articles titled “Time to challenge the anti NGO propaganda and Civil society” and “Hated “”…” that is the opinion created in Sri Lanka” is based on flagrant misrepresentations and distortions of facts. His effort further demonstrates as to why the Sri Lankan government and the public should continue to crack down on foreign funded groups such as Weliamuna’s so-called Transparency International.

 The objective of this post is to expose Weliamuna’s fallacious arguments. A second article will attempt to provide the true history and background to the diabolical neocolonial conspiracy that is the global NGO movement.

 The template

 Weliamuna’s two articles essentially follow a “ƒ”¹…”template’ provided by the US and Canadian funded fronts the World Movement for Democracy and The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL): in 2007, these two fronts issued a “ƒ”¹…”Memorandum’ titled “ƒ”¹…”Freedom of association & assembly “”…” creating an adequate space for Civil Society and NGOs to operate’ to NGOs globally, asking them to aggressively react to any government attempts to scrutinise their actions.

 The authors of the document were two Latin American NGO hacks, Carlos E. Ponce (former President of Amnesty International in Venezuela and President of the Venezuelan NGO Fundacion Talento), and Alvaro J. BriceƒÆ’†’±o, of the Canadian NGO Urgent Action for Democracy and Development.

 The key advice contained in the Memorandum was that NGOs should exploit a legal provision known as “ƒ”¹…”Freedom of association’, which is not a matter of good will or special concession from any government, but an obligation of governments to provide under international conventions. The Memorandum also provided a “ƒ”¹…”Toolkit’, a grab bag of techniques to be used by NGOs facing accountability demands, including “ƒ”¹…”going under’ and operating under false fronts.

 In the usual dishonest NGO fashion, Ponce derived legal authority for his advice to use Freedom of association from international conventions such as the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention (ILO No. 87) and Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. These documents had been drafted a good half a century before the NGO virus was bred, and they focus specifically and exclusively on labour rights.

 Other UN authorities used, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) were clearly irrelevant contextually.

 Weliamuna, fighting for the survival of his subversive entity and his position within it, appears to be trying to pull a fast one on the Sri Lankan government and the people, using such legally irrelevant and defective authority and other misrepresentations.

 What Weliamuna says

 The first redeeming quality of NGOs Weliamuna brings out is their capacity to multiply and proliferate! He seems to be asking the question, if they are so bad, how can there be so many of them? He quotes the numbers in different parts of the world including the US, China, India and Egypt: this is one heck of an argument because the proliferation of NGOs over the last two decades is the single most powerful piece of evidence that favours the theory that they were not spontaneous local initiatives, but were created and financially sustained by well-oiled foreign governments with vested interests. (This point will be addressed in detail in the second article.)

 Furthermore, the statistics are slippery due to the definitional problems Weliamuna himself has alluded to: in the USA, all the right wing “ƒ”¹…”think tanks’ financed by USAID, the CIA, Pentagon and the State Department pass as NGOs. In countries such as India and China people like Weliamuna, who worked out early that the NGO gravy train was an easy source of income, account for the proliferation. How can this be a reason why the government should not consider them a threat to national security?

 Weliamuna then goes to a lot of trouble to address the definitional issue between Civil Society Organisations (CSO), his preferred label, and the real moniker NGO. In typical fallacious fashion, Weliamuna starts by giving us the neocon orthodoxy of society as being composed of three sectors: the government and private sectors and what is referred to as “ƒ”¹…”civil society’. This classification assumes that people are born in to these “ƒ”¹…”sectors’, and they remain there without any overlap or interaction between the three “ƒ”¹…”sectors’. This is utter nonsense; in developing societies people may enter politics, withdraw in to business and may retire to do (non-NGO) social work etc in different permutations. How does Weliamuna accommodate such fluidity in his definition of “ƒ”¹…”civil society’?

 Next Weliamuna goes on to capture all benign “ƒ”¹…”local’ social groups including professional associations, old pupils associations and even the temperance movement as NGOs. What rubbish? These groups are defined by the important characteristics of “ƒ”¹…”membership’ that includes “ƒ”¹…”fees’ for the running of the group and democratically elected committees that run them. Their “ƒ”¹…”raison d’etre’, finances and work programs are all transparent, specific, and quantifiable, as distinct from fluid NGO objectives such as “ƒ”¹…”protecting human rights’! Crucially, NGOs have no commitment whatsoever to membership, but are created and operated by one or several local collaborators such as Weliamuna and Saravanamuttu, backed by foreign finances. They go on to “ƒ”¹…”employ’ other agents of like mind in order to gain access to specific areas of society.

 The concept of Freedom of Association

 Weliamuna elevates “ƒ”¹…”freedom of association’ to the category of their favourite hobby-horse, human rights. Then he makes the point that A.V. Dicey’s book on British Constitutional law (there is no written British constitution!) did not even mention about this as a separate right; nor did the US Constitution have any mention of this right, but they recognised it. So what is the point?

 Weliamuna appears to associate the NGO movement’s new found love, Freedom of Association (FoA), with Freedom of Expression (FoE). But these are totally different concepts: FoE is an “ƒ”¹…”individual’ freedom that is absolutely fundamental to western Christian, conservative-liberal social systems as well as the capitalist economic system whereas FoA is essentially a labour right developed following the exploitation of labour in the era of industrial revolution. Freedom of Assembly may be of more general relevance to democracy than “ƒ”¹…”Association’. This is hardly a refuge for the NGO bandwagon!

 The UN Charter

 Weliamuna then tries to hang on to Chapter X, Article 71 of the UN Charter by saying it “ƒ”¹…”requires’ the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations.

 Here is the exact wording of Chapter X, article 71 of the UN Charter: “The Economic and Social Council may make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations which are concerned with matters within its competence. Such arrangements may be made with international organizations and, where appropriate, with national organizations after consultation with the Member of the United Nations concerned”. (emphasis added). Let the reader be the judge!

 More importantly, when the UN used the phrase “non-governmental organisations” back in 1945 at San Francisco, the General Assembly meant genuine community organisations within member countries and obviously, they could not have foreseen the corruption of this idea for neocolonialism purposes.

 Economic Advantages of NGOs

 Weliamuna’s argument that NGO should be encouraged due to their contributions in the implementation of international human rights norms is the most ludicrous of his arguments. He even credits himself with the abolition of slavery! The point is that the NGOs of his type did not exist in world history prior to the 1970s.

 Then the nauseating suggestion that NGOs are an important employment source and the money received helps the balance of payments: this is not different from the argument that an “ƒ”¹…”invading army’ should be welcomed because it is a good source of income and employment!

 Approach of Authoritarian Regimes

 Poor Weliamuna then complains, in the abstract, about the “ƒ”¹…”constant struggle’ between authoritarian regimes and NGOs akin to the historic struggles for freedom the world over.

 Is he suggesting that the Sri Lankan government and its leaders are “ƒ”¹…”feudal’ leaders or authoritarian dictators similar to those whom he claims the NGOs have deposed? Contrary to Weliamuna’s claim, it is the progressive leaders who work to uplift their citizenry, posing a threat to US military, political and economic interests that they work to depose: they kept murderous Ferdinand Marcos in power for quarter a century while trying unsuccessfully to eliminate Fidel Castro for over forty years!

 Weliamuna’s attack on Zimbabwe is typical of the NGO movement pushing the barrow of their pay masters: the anti-Zimbabwe movement (that has lost momentum now) was one of the most disgraceful propaganda campaigns launched by the British government due to President Mugabe’s land reform initiatives. Weliamuna quotes Patrick Chinamasa’s particular choice of words “ƒ”¹…”scandalising the court’ in the charge against a judge as a big deal. But the essence here was the corruption of the judicial process and his plea to the UN that the NGOs and the “ƒ”¹…”pro-democracy’ leader Morgan Changarai were foreign funded were absolutely accurate.

 He refers to every developing country government that expresses concern about the use of NGOs by the West to interfere in the internal affairs of countries as sloganeering by “ƒ”¹…”authoritative’ governments! He also attempts to bring on the circular argument that this cannot be done because the countries are subject to international law!

 For Weliamuna’s information, there is no written, enforceable international law in the world and the nearest thing, various Treaties will never be enforceable as long as the global economic inequities are addressed. Weliamune also makes an oxymoronic reference to “ƒ”¹…”Authoritarian dictators some of whom have been elected!

 After dishing out all the drivel referred to above, Weliamuna makes the extraordinary claim that “Sources of legitimacy of NGOs are different from legitimacy of political entities or representative bodies and their legitimacy does not depend on the number of members“. They draw legitimacy from legal and moral sources!! They should only be accountable to their members (if any), donors and the public whom they claim to represent, if any. (emphasis added). He has even borrowed the arrogant concept of exceptionalism from his pay masters!

 There is only one answer the government needs to provide to such unprincipled, self serving thieves as Weliamuna: they need to be brought to book so that he could carry out their NGO activities within the walls of Welikada. Sooner the better!

One Response to “J.C. Weliamune needs to be brought to book, urgently”

  1. cwije Says:

    How much money father and son Weliamunes get from Pakiayasothy NGO and transparency NGO??

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