Multi-pronged ‘Intelligence’ harassment on CBOs, local NGOs in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 June 2017, 21:41 GMT]
Officers of the occupying Sinhala military intelligence are again harassing the Community Based Organisations and local Non Governmental Organisations that have been assisting the war-affected and poverty-stricken families in the rural areas of Batticaloa district. On Friday an event organised by a local NGO, Akam, was suspended at Thannaamunai village located 5 km north of Batticaloa city, NGO circles in Batticaloa said. The District Coordinator of Akam was almost interrogated by the visiting Ea'raavoor Police and Military Intelligence officers of occupying Colombo. The event scheduled to distribute assistance to beneficiaries from Thannaamunai village was cancelled at the last minute due to repeated harassment from the ‘interrogators’ on Friday.

The organisation Akam has been involved in providing humanitarian assistance to residents of Thannaa-munai since 2012.

Some time back, Special Task Force (STF) commandos were ‘visiting’ the coordinating body of the NGOs in Batticaloa, I'naiyam. The STF personnel were asking for the details of those employed in various NGOs and CBOs in the district. The NGO coordinators at the office demanded a request in writing in order to supply the details being sought by the STF.

Apart from Police and Military intelligence and the STF, National Intelligence Bureau investigators, calling themselves as ‘civil intelligence officers’ were also harassing the NGOs and CBOs in the district.

While there is a Government Agent and other civil mechanisms to look after the affairs of the CBOs and NGOs, why military intelligence is interfering in all the activities, ask Tamil relief workers in the district.

The SL Police is also harassing the participants of the NGO activities. The freedom of organisation is heavily restricted in the Tamil areas, they say.

The latest reports of military harassments against independent mobilisation of assistance and relief work also comes as a ministry led by Mano Ganesan from Western Province was attempting to control the coordination of NGOs and CBOs in the district.


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