The Government made a periodic reminder to aid workers that they must obtain approval from the Defense Ministry to operate in the island. This is a precautionary measure to ensure all those operating in the island are of “good faith”, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror.
“All aid workers come through various NGO’s and we have set up a special division under the Defense Ministry for them to be registered. This is due to the fact that after the war there have been a number of groups that have attempted to discredit the good work done by the government. Thus we want to ensure that all those working in the country are of good faith,” Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
He added that in the past a number of aid agencies had attempted to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and work counter to her interests while operating as aid agencies in the island.
“We are a sovereign nation and we have all the right to know who is operating on our soil. Because in the past as you know a number of these agencies have tried to impede on the sovereignty of our Government,” he said.
The Minister stated that there were no particular conditions which would make an aid agency eligible or ineligible to be approved by the Defense Ministry.
There are 250 international and some 1,000 domestic aid agencies working in Sri Lanka, according to the Government Information Department. (DS)