ITRO warns peace building disrupted by smears, attacks

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 October 2005, 11:37 GMT]
The International Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (ITRO) has written to Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga protesting her government’s role in a propaganda campaign against its organisation and physical intimidation of its aid workers.

The ITRO, an umbrella organisation based in London representing TRO (Sri Lanka) and the overseas offices of TRO appealed to Ms Kumaratunga to “contain” the “current malicious propaganda campaign and physical intimidation” which was disrupting the organisation’s aid efforts.

“We notice that sections of your Government, certain nationalist political parties and associated organisations in Sri Lanka and overseas and the local media in Colombo have intensified malicious propaganda campaigns against the TRO family,” Mr. Naga Narendran, the ITRO’s Director, said.

“We are also experiencing increased physical intimidation and violence against TRO’s personnel and properties in Sri Lanka,” he said in a letter issued earlier this month by ITRO’s London offices and also circulated to media in Colombo.

Mr Narendran cited attacks on the organisation’s offices in Sri Lanka Army-controlled parts of the Northeast in which TRO staff had been killed or wounded and substantial property destroyed.

“We consider these as attacks on the tsunami and war affected innocent peoples’ capacity to get back on their own feet.”

“Focus on the urgent and substantial needs of the war and or Tsunami affected people of the North-East is being distracted by this sustained propaganda and physical assault, hence, we write this appeal to you with a view to contain it."

Pointing out that TRO’s post-tsunami shelter providing activities in Sri Lanka had earned the organisation the President’s Merit Award, Mr Narendran argued ITRO’s “contribution to peace building [is] another casualty of the malicious campaign. It is also undermining TROs potential capacity to assist with future peace initiatives.”


External Links:
TG: TRO abroad: prejudice drives confusion

 

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