Feature Article

JVP slams NGOs, western countries for meddling

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 April 2005, 18:28 GMT]
“We should spit on NGOs and stop them from walking on our streets. Donor countries and their NGO agents are holding this country to ransom, telling the government to set up a joint Tsunami relief mechanism with the LTTE. It is something that can be done through the Sri Lankan state machinery. There is no need for a joint mechanism”, said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, the powerful propaganda secretary of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), speaking to a packed audience in Maharagama, an outer suburb of Colombo, at a meeting Wednesday to ‘expose the NGO Mafia that is against the land and the country’.

JVP's Wimal Veerawanse speaking at the event
YATV mike pulled out at PNM meeting
Mr. Thotagamuwa removing YATV mike from the podium
An anti american poster in Colombo

The meeting was organized by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), a JVP front that has gathered a wide cross section of Sinhala nationalists to its fold in recent years.

Young Asia Television (YATV) mike was pulled out when Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, the co- President of the PNM was speaking.

Despite protests by the YATV crew, PNM media spokesman, Mr. Nihal Thotagamuwa, removed their mike from the podium and ordered their TV crew to leave the hall where the meeting was in progress.

PNM and JVP charge that YATV is a western backed, pro LTTE media-NGO.

“Even if they chop us into pieces we will never accept federalism as a solution to the conflict. The Norwegians are attempting to create a Christian state (in Sri Lanka’s northeast), said Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero, a co-President of the PNM in his address.

The JVP sees NGOs as the instruments by which the west is systematically eroding Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Sinhala Buddhist nationalists say that NGOs are tools of western hegemony, conspiring to destroy their culture and religion - their way of life on the island.

The PNM campaign is ultimately and subtly aimed at discrediting the leaderships of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party by impressing Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka that their ruling families are inextricably tangled with western economic and imperial interests.

Some political analysts in Colombo say that the JVP’s anti-globalization stand (read anti US imperialism) finds a certain resonance among thousands of rural and urban poor marginalized by World Bank and IMF economic restructuring policies.

A poster advertising the meeting Wednesday showed a dollar filled cranial cavity of a man bearing striking resemblance to Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, a leading advocate of an internationally endorsed ‘rational political solution’ to the island’s ethnic conflict. Tens of thousands of this were pasted in Colombo and many parts of Sri Lanka’s Sinhala majority districts.

Speaking further at the meeting, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa said that NGOs spend seventy percent of funds sent for relief work on administration, vehicles and their luxury lifestyles. He alleged that some persons are trying to get funding to look after dogs orphaned by the Tsunami so that they can import duty free vehicles.

He attacked Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda, calling him the don of the NGO mafia in the University of Colombo. (Mr. Uyangoda was a leader of the JVP insurrection in 1971).

“Kumar Rupasingha is a traitor to the nation. He is a greater Tiger than the LTTE. Kumar Rupasingha is hoodwinking the media. His main job is sending daily intelligence reports about this country to his foreign masters. He is running an NGO called Foundation for Co-existence with Swarna Mallawaratchi (former Sinhala cinema actress), the JVP propaganda secretary said.

Weerawansa lashed out at the Marxist groups led by Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Mr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna, saying that these were not leftist parties but NGOs funded by outside forces.

He said that NGOs are influencing Sri Lankan media to suit the objectives of neo western colonialists.

Mr. Weerawansa charged that the popular TV station ‘Sirasa’ was the mouth piece of the opposition United National Party.

‘Sirasa TV’a media arm of the Maharajah Organisation, the largest business conglomerate in Sri Lanka. (It belongs to a Tamil family)

The JVP’s powerful propaganda secretary lambasted the TamilNet and the journalist ‘Taraki’ for giving publicity to statements by Mr. Jehan Perera of Sri Lanka’s National Peace Council.

He singled out Mr. Perera and Dr. Pakkiyasothy Saravanamuthu, director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) for harsh invective in his two hour long speech condemning western NGOs and donor nations.

He slammed the BBC and CNN for partial reporting on Tsunami related issues.

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