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* Finances of Transparency International Sri Lanka under government scanner
Tue, Mar 2, 2010, 12:47 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 02, Colombo: Finances of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the national chapter of Transparency International (TI) has been under scrutiny by the Sri Lankan government.

State-owned Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation reported that the TISL, a non-governmental organization (NGO) monitoring corruption has received a massive aid of 180 million rupees up to date from January last year.

However, the funds that have been received from Western countries including Norway, Sweden, and the United States have not been utilized for election monitoring purposes, the report further said.

In a report issued last December, the global corruption watchdog headed by attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna accused the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on misusing state funds and properties to campaign for his 2010 reelection bid.

The government yesterday said it has decided to amend the existing Act which deals with both local and foreign Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to enable the government to probe their activities and take appropriate action against them wherever it is necessary.

The Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka accused several NGOs and INGOs of acting against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka in recent times. However, it was not possible to take appropriate action against them as the existing laws under the NGO Act are weak, he added.

The Premier said that a Ministerial Committee, appointed to propose amendments to the Act, has already put forward a draft document requesting more powers to the government. The draft document has already been sent to the Attorney General for his advice and it will be taken up for discussion and later implemented following the General Elections, he said.

Sri Lankan government has become suspicious of certain NGOs after its security forces found evidence that some NGOs have diverted most funds that meant for the public to the LTTE during the military operations in the North last year.

The security forces found heavy earth moving equipment and vehicles that belong to NGOs, bunkers built with donated rice bags and underground structures well-equipped with parts from foreign countries to safeguard the LTTE leadership.

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