The government has appointed a special Board of Intellectuals to probe charges and allegations being made against NGOs and their operations, the government information department said today.
The government says it has also been made compulsory for all NGOs operating in the country to register themselves with the Office for the Registration of Non Governmental Organizations.
“This step is being taken to thwart certain NGOs from hatching conspiracies to effect regime change by engaging in politics in the guise of doing social work in the country,” the information department said.
The Director General of Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle was quoted by the information department as saying that strict legal action will be taken against NGOs failing to comply with this registration rule it will result in the eviction of such NGOs. The Registration of NGOs has been brought under the purview of the Defence Ministry with effect from 2010. The registration process of NGOs is implemented under the supervision of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Hulugalle said that currently, there are nearly 100 NGOs operating in the country, and a large number of them have been identified to be surreptitiously engaging in activities inimical to the state by hatching various conspiracies through opposition politicians.
Investigations have also revealed that some of them had fraudulently evaded registration as NGOs and obtained registration from the Department for the Registrar of Companies as non-profit organizations by duping certain officials. Hulugalle said that legislation has been enacted making every NGO to comply with regulations and conditions stipulated in the amended gazette notification published in 2006 after registering it with the Office for the Registration of NGOs on February 26,1999.
Accordingly, NGOs should submit a report to the government listing its role, staff and funding and donations received from abroad, their manner of expenditure and their proposals and plans, he said. Their assets should also be registered with the relevant unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)