” Voluntary social service organizations that are not subject to any government authority, are not controlled by any government structure, and work for independent goals and objectives are also known as non-governmental organizations. Although an accurate census of how many such organizations exist in Sri Lanka has not been done so far, it is reported that nearly 44,000 organizations have been registered.
If these civil organizations did not operate in Sri Lanka in the past, people’s understanding of human rights including basic rights, criminal and civil law, women’s and children’s rights and minority communities’ rights, farmers’, fisheries’ and environmental rights, free and fair elections It could not have been so wide. And the related activities could have been much less.
But these non-governmental organizations have been accused by the government. That is, it is a threat to the existence of the unitary state of Sri Lanka, territorial integrity and national security. And things like getting foreign funds by presenting wrong and false information against the state. But these are not proven matters. But there is an attempt to bring various laws to control non-governmental organizations by making these accusations.
The first of the laws trying to bring such is the government’s attempt to bring a new act to replace the current Voluntary Social Service Organizations Amendment Act. And the second is the Anti-Terrorism Bill, which has already been submitted in the form of a bill. So it can be seen that the basic freedom of the people is being tried to be restricted through these things.”
The above comments were presented during a public conference organized by the Trincomalee District Human Rights First Aid Center in Kantale area on April 30. In this conference, the new legal situation to be brought in place of the Voluntary Social Service Organizations Amendment Act and the Anti-Terrorism Bill that the government has already presented were discussed extensively.