SLN restricts NGOs entry into islets of Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 08:55 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in the islets of Jaffna has imposed severe restrictions on the representatives of International and Local Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to enter the islets of Jaffna, causing many to abandon development projects related to Tsunami and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), NGO Consortium Information Centre in Jaffna said.

The SLN personnel at the entry check post at Allaipiddy continue to insist on prior SLN permission to enter the islets, causing undue delay and inconvenience to the NGO representatives and officials, the sources said.

Besides local Volunteer Organizations, Save the Children Fond (SCF) and Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) are two International NGOs that are engaged in development and rehabilitation activities related to Tsunami victims, IDPs, student welfare and education, in Jaffna peninsula and in the islets of Jaffna, .

Only a selected few are allowed by the SLN to gain entry into the islets, NGO Consortium Information centre sources said.

Local NGOs stopped funding many of their development projects in the islets due to SLN restrictions and harassment.

The International NGOs which tried to collect information on orphaned and destitute children in Kaarainakar and Nedunththeevu areas were not allowed to enter these areas by the SLN.

NGO local staff has to travel to Jaffna offices to provide the necessary information to the head office staff in Jaffna.

The Sri Lanka Armed Forces offensives in 1990 caused an exodus of people from the islets into Jaffna peninsula. The number of IDPs returning to their homes has been gradually increasing in the past few years.

The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and SLN offensives in 2006 have again disrupted the lives of the people in the islets.

The severe SLN restrictions on the agencies which help these people are likely to bring NGO activities in the islets to a stop, civil society sources in Jaffna said.

 

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