The Sri Lankan government says regulation, transparency and accountability of funding to NGOs and NPOs (Nonprofit Organisations) is a pre-requisite in the interest of national security and counter-terrorism as recognized by states.
Speaking during the Clustered ID with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association on the rights to Peaceful Assembly at the ongoing session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday (Friday), the Sri Lankan delegation highlighted the obligation placed on states to adhere to the regulatory framework all countries are expected to put in place in compliance with 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, which makes it mandatory to monitor fund transfers of all financial institutions inclusive of NPOs and INGOs (associations) and other financial institutions, in countering financing of terrorism, money laundering or other related trans-national crimes.
“It has been Sri Lanka’s experience as a country that defeated one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world, that certain NGOs and associations can also play a fundamental role in feeding terrorism and conflict. For example, front organisations of the LTTE posing as legitimate civil society organisations and charities based overseas formed part of a complex international terrorist network which through various means injected the funding and resources needed to nurture the thirty-year terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka,” the Sri Lankan delegation said.
The Sri Lankan delegation also said that while peaceful assembly including demonstrations is permitted under the law, law enforcement authorities retain the right to disperse such assembly in the event it ceases to be peaceful and impinges on the rights of others, particularly in instances where such demonstrations lead to disturbance of public tranquillity.
“Any person who alleges violation of these rights is entitled to seek redress through the highest court of Sri Lanka or to seek relief through the National Human Rights Commission,” the Sri Lankan delegation added. (Colombo Gazette)