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-- Leading News from Sri Lanka --

* Sri Lanka to probe NGO activities
Thursday, February 19, 2009, 13:58 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka government has appointed a committee to evaluate activities of national and international non governmental organizations in the country involved in humanitarian assistance and human rights promotion, the government announced.

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, has been appointed to lead the committee.

Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, addressing the foreign media on Tuesday said the measure is to assess the accountability of agencies working in Sri Lanka at present with a view to ensuring transparency and accountability of their operations in the future and not a 'witch hunt'.

When security forces entered into the areas that were under LTTE control they found heavy earth moving equipment, vehicles that belong to NGOs, bunkers built with rice bags and underground structures to safeguard the LTTE leadership pointing to the evidence most of the funds meant for the public had been diverted to the LTTE.

The government hopes the recommendations of this committee will be useful to prevent mismanagement of funds by the aid organizations in the future.

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