JVP, JHU object to channeling relief through World Vision
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 January 2005, 14:11 GMT]
Parliamentary group leader of JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna), Mr Wimal Weerawansa, said at a meeting of the national committee on disaster management that his party is deeply concerned about channeling tsunami relief aid through World Vision. The proceeds of one day international cricket match between Asia and the rest of the world, held in Melbourne, Monday, was to be channeled through World Vision, according to sports officials in Melbourne.
JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) also joined JVP in raising
questions about World Vision, a Christian organization,
receiving the relief aid. JHU leader, Ven. Ellawala
Madhanaada Thera, charged that the funds from the cricket
match might be used for illegal purposes. He said the task
force on tsunami relief setup by the government should
further discuss the issue.
President Chandrika Kumarathunge who presided the meeting
said the government had no authority to monitor the large
amount of tsunami aid being obtained by NGOs.
United National Party (UNP) deputy leader Karu Jeyasuriya,
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauf Hakeem, EPDP
leader Douglas Devanada also participated in the meeting.
In the meantime, JHU deputy leader, Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha
Thera, in a letter to Sri Lankan Cricket Association asked
why the aid from the cricket match is being channeled
through World Vision, which in the past has been accused of
"unethical religious conversion". In the letter he
demanded an assurance that World Vision would not use these
funds to convert more people into fundamentalist Christianity.
He warned that channeling the funds through such a group
would tarnish the name of International Cricket Council. He
said the funds should have been channeled through the United
Nations or the Sri Lanka government.
A bill submitted to parliament by JHU that makes religious
conversions illegal is already in progress.