Ape Lankawe: The Great NGO Pantomime!
The Government’s scant regard for the plight of Tamil civilians in Vanni is legendary and their stubbornness in pursuing the military objective at the expense of every thing else is a given. But the NGOs could have been more realistic in their estimations and scenario planning and not have under-estimated the sophistication of the government to out maneuver them yet again. Most importantly they should have defined the applicable minimum conditions in line with the international standards and taken a unified public stand and continued with it persistently. While it may not have necessarily changed Government behavior, it would have put a greater onus on the Government to explain and improve.
An article that critiques the role of NGOs in humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka. Click here for the full version. NGOs have been sharply criticised by the Government in recent years for their pereceived partiality and bias towards the LTTE. In many cases, this has resulted in language of hate and harm directed against human rights activists, and a spate of unresolved murders of leading journalists and media freedom defenders. The article looks at this context and suggests that NGOs too have their share of blame, for example, in the present humanitarian crises in the embattled North of Sri Lanka.