SLA refuses permission for NGO convoys to enter Batticaloa LTTE areas
[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 August 2006, 11:19 GMT]
Mr.G.Nagarajah, President of the Consortium brought to the notice of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials in Batticaloa district that local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) have suspended their services following the refusal by the security forces to allow food convoys to enter LTTE held areas through border check points on Wednesday.
SLA demanded NGO representatives to produce registered numbers given by the Ministry of Defence. Security officials demanded MOD registered numbers from the local NGOs when it was brought to their notice that these organizations were exempted from this condition, said Mr.Nagarajah at a conference between Brigadier Bertie Perera, Military Civil Co-ordinating Officer and representatives of the Batticaloa District NGOs Consortium held Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters of the 23-3 Brigade in Batticaloa.
Mr.Maxie Proctor, Batticaloa Senior Police Superintendent replied that they have been asked to carry out orders frequently received from higher authorities in Colombo.
SLA officials said local NGOs could function without registering them with the defence ministry. However INGOs should register themselves first with the Ministry of Defence and thereafter they should obtain permission from the Police in each district where they want to serve and also they should take the written permission of the Police with them, security officials said.
Mr.S.Devaraj, Consortium Project Director and Mr.P.Prasath, Co-ordinator also participated in the conference
Meanwhile SLA officials have started visiting the offices of the INGOs and local NGOs in the Batticaloa district to ascertain whether these institutions are registered with the MOD.