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Wednesday 27 August 2014

The so called NGOs are not innocent

There are attempts by some people who are mainly interested in maintaining the western Christian hegemony to paint a rosy picture of the Western Governmental Organizations in the country as innocent organizations. These organizations are referred to as NGOs the name given by the westerners themselves, and our so called intellectuals who can imitate but not create any knowledge, continue to use the tag the Non Governmental Organizations. The moment one identifies the WGOs as NGOs their structures are covered and the people get the impression that these organizations are innocent civil society organizations such as Mahila samithis, Maranadhara Samithis (Funeral aid societies) that depend mainly on the members themselves. These latter societies may get a contribution in kind or money but the societies are maintained mainly by the membership fees and may be funds collected by the members. The funds are usually collected from the villagers but occasionally they may go outside the particular village but very often will be confined to the boundaries of the country.

These societies do not get involved in politics party or otherwise and the office bearers usually do not have an ambition to enter politics. There may be a few individuals among the office bearers who would wish to be elected as a member of Pradeshiya Sabha but it is very unlikely that they would get involved in national politics. The office bearers are hardly known outside the village in which they operate and not known in the country through national media. The media is not interested in the opinion of such office bearers and the journalists usually ignore them.

The WGOs on the other hand were established by the western governments either directly or indirectly, and have been financed by those countries. Initially the organisations were helped on the pretext of giving aid to social work but very soon those organisations also revealed their political ambitions, even if they may not have been interested in politics at the beginning. Sarvodaya is good example in this regard, where the leader could not hide his political inclinations with time. It is not known whether he had managed to hide his politics at the initial stages but the powers in the country at one time considered him as a threat in politics.

The later established WGOs have been openly engaged in politics though the leaders may not have shown any interest in contesting at national level either for the Presidency or even for a Parliamentary membership. However, they have been propagators of western ideology and have been financed by western countries. It is the Scandinavian countries and Canada that are mainly responsible for pumping money into these organisations, though the ideology that is propagated is from England and US. When the Congress was in power in India it is clear that both England and US used the former against Sri Lanka, though the role played had been different during UNP days and SLFP dominated alliances days. The US and England were behind the Indo Lanka Accord signed in 1987, and they were Godfathers to the accord literary and literarily. It is not my intention to go into details but without US and England there would not have been a thirteenth amendment. The Congress Party though pretended to be nationalistic was not so but was guided by the Cambridge education that Nehru received as a son of an elite in India. It served the masters and mistresses not only the Mountbattens but the English queens and kings as well. The Congress leaders were Fridays serving their masters Robinson Crusoes and the BJP had to be established as a nationalistic party that respects Hinduthva and not Kristhuthva.

The WGO s as we have said were established by the western countries mainly in non western countries in the sixties after the African countries were given limited independence by the Europeans. The WGOs were financed by the western countries and the organisations were expected to continue to maintain the African countries as colonies in economics, politics and culture. I had the opportunity of serving the University of Malawi when my wife spent a semester there on sabbatical leave. I was on extended sabbatical leave from the University of Colombo, and I saw at first hand the cultural and political colonialism practiced in the country. The history of Malawi began with the arrival of the Europeans as far as the propagators were concerned and various WGOs functioned in association with the Christian Churches of various denominations. Once I asked my students as to who discovered Lake Malawi and their immediate response was it was Livingstone. I had to tell the students that their grand grand parents had known Lake Malawi before the Europeans arrived in their country but they being students in Physics were not interested in what I had to say. Fortunately no lecturer or student complained to the Vice Chancellor that I was teaching Malawi Chinthanaya to the students and I was spared the opportunity of being granted extended sabbatical leave from that University.  

The WGOs in general in all countries except perhaps in the western countries are propagating western ideology for money. It is the money or other aid that the WGOs receive from the west that is of concern to the country. Any organisation that receives funds without being channeled through the Sri Lankan government has to be scrutinized thoroughly as they should not enjoy the so called freedom of expression in the abstract. The local Fridays could quote chapter and verse according to the Biblical tradition followed by the academia and the legal institutions but we should not be fooled by these quotations. The freedom of expression has its restrictions and in the west there is no absolute freedom of expression for individuals or organisations especially when national security is under threat. The Fridays who serve their Crusoes should be asked to clarify what is meant by freedom of expression for foreign funded organisations.

Foreign funding is a concern of those who deal with security of the country as I have some personal experience in this regard. In the late eighties and early nineties I was the President of Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) and we were in a trade union struggle over the salaries of the university teachers. One night at about two am I was given a telephone call by an OIC of a police station claiming that he wanted to record a statement by me. He said it was so urgent that he had to record the statement before the Sun rises, as if the Sun would have upset all his plans. I agreed and he came with a battalion and recorded my statement. The next day at about midnight a police force of more than twenty five came to our home, scaled the gates and after surrounding the house asked me to open the door telling that they were from the police. When I opened the door the OIC (now a big shot in the police hierarchy) said he wanted to take me to the police station to record another statement. I told him that he could do it at my home but he insisted that I came to the police station with the police force that had come in several vehicles. I was not taken to the particular police station that they told my wife I was being taken but to the Gregory’s Road Intelligence Bureau office, and when my wife and eldest son went to the particular police station they had been told I was not there! Anyhow the bigwigs at the Intelligence Bureau were interested in finding out whether FUTA obtained funds from some other organisation here or abroad. I had to tell them that FUTA is a trade union federation that received membership fees from the member unions and other than that FUTA had no other source of income. Some of the Fridays were high ups in the academia and most probably members of some University Teachers’ Association (UTA) or other but they neither as individuals or members of associations came in support of me. This was during the days of Premadasa Regime, to use one of Ranil W’s favourite expressions, and I had to fight on my own. I stated this fact in order to show that the security forces are very much concerned with the funds received by organisations, and it should not be different in the case of WGO’s.  

It is well known that the west is interested in installing its puppet governments in the non western world and WGOs are used for that purpose as well. It has also to be reminded that most of the WGOs served the peace project of the west and were against the humanitarian operations against the LTTE. They were for CFA of Ranil W and have almost always followed the western policy. If the Fridays think that freedom of expression is unconditional then they are mistaken. The country or the government should not allow the west to use the WGOs on their pay role to go against the wish of the majority of the people. The Fridays after all is a tiny minority who serve the Crusoes, who are influenced by western ideology of bogus freedom of expression, which is not practiced in the west itself. 

Nalin De Silva