7/11/2014

Sri Lanka government's circular may not prevent information flowing into international community, NGOs say

The representatives of the Non Governmental Organizations of Sri Lanka say that the government's move to restrict the NGOs may result the people of the country lacing access to information.

Lawyer J.C. Weliamuna said that the government's order to the NGOs not to hold press conferences, not to issue press releases and not to train journalists may not prevent the information flowing to the international community. It will only prevent information transfer to the local people.

He said that the foreign countries have many other channels to obtain information. NGOs are a critical part of the government, he pointed out.

Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri of the Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) said that the move was a blow to democracy. He said that the government had no right to restrict the public organizing lawfully.

Dr. Nimalka Fernando of the International Movement Against Racism and Discrimination pointed out that the NGOs as well as the government are bound to obey the UN international conventions for which the nation have ratified. The order has been issued without proper knowledge about this, she said.

A number of other representatives of civil society organizations addressed the press conference held in Colombo on July 09 to protest the government circular to restrict the NGOs.

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