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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Monday, January 30, 2006

Defaulting NGOs take off with Tsunami funds

ANN: 24/01/2006" By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A number of foreign non governmental organisations, which had signed agreements with the government to reconstruct houses and schools in the Ampara district, have left the country, according to the Housing Ministry mission unaccomplished.

These NGO’s having collected large funds, from their respective countries and other donors, had gone back on their agreements and slipped out to Pakistan where they are now engaged in fraudulent activities.

Minister of Housing and Construction Industry, Eastern Province Education and Irrigation Development Ferial Ashraff told The Island that the government had signed agreements with 25 NGOs to construct houses for tsunami-affected people and the government was also able to provide them the relevant plans and land required.

Minister Ashraff pointed out that these NGOs with collection of huge donations from their respective countries had come to Sri Lanka on the pretext of doing construction work and had deceived the government.

She also said that up to now although 12,500 houses were needed in the Amapara district, construction work had commenced on only 1,200 houses. She added that tsunami-hit people who had been living in transitional houses had fallen into despondency.

Minister Ashraff said that these bogus NGOs with a great deal of collected donations had left Sri Lanka for Pakistan and were reported to have engaged in fraudulent activities disgracing their countries.

Referring to the NGOs activities, Minister Ashraff noted that it was the duty of the government to provide permanent shelter to tsunami victims and the Government would have no alternative but to sign new agreements with organisations interested in humanitarian work.

She also said the selection of NGOs for humanitarian activities should be done with transparency and accountability.

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