July 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry clarifying an announcement made by the National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), a body functioning under the Ministry of Defense, said the media reports have misinterpreted the announcement.
Spokesperson of the Media Centre of the Ministry of Defense Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya told media that the National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations has reminded NGOs only to act according to the mandate issued by the letter of its Director/Registrar Mr. D.M.S. Dissanayake.
Addressing a press briefing Tuesday, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said the Defense Ministry said it has instructed the NGOs to adhere to the specified regulations governing the NGOs and there was no truth to the reports that said strict controls have been placed on the NGOs.
Director Dissanayake in a circular said yesterday that it has been revealed to the Defense Ministry that the NGOs are acting beyond their mandate and conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases.
He said such activities carried out by the NGOs were beyond their mandate and asked all non-governmental organizations to prevent from such unauthorized activities with immediate effect.
Clarifying a general perception that it is an attempt to restrain the NGO's work Brigadier Wanigasooriya said that it is a false report disseminated to misguide the public.
The Spokesman said the NGOs had only been asked not to exceed their mandate through this letter.
Brigadier Wanigasooriya further noted that his office examines all aspects such as the trustee of the NGO concerned, its funding sources, vision and mission, programme of work and the officials, before registering it.
He pointed out the Acts that are in force and the prevailing legal background are clearly mentioned in the NGO Secretariat's website . There are no any legal provisions to act beyond the Mandate, he stressed.