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Response to Interim Report of Parliamentary Select Committee

by National Peace Council

(December 23,Colombo,Sri Lanka Guardian) The Interim Report of the Select Committee of Parliament for Investigation of the Operations of Non Governmental Organisations and their Impact has received wide publicity in the media. In its report the Select Committee makes pointed criticisms of several NGOs, their roles and agendas, including the National Peace Council. We regret that the comments on NPC are unjust, and do not give a proper representation of NPC objectives and work.

The report states that the “National Peace Council too is a non governmental Organization operating to propagate federalism. An Organizer of the National Peace Council had once attended a protest in Geneva and also had made a speech in a rally held later which ended with the singing of the song of emancipation of the LTTE together.”

"This organization which questions the need of sovereignty has mentioned about a sovereignty divided into two and of two very close countries. The National Peace Council had engaged in a movement to Brain wash the people of Sri Lanka which is very similar to the activities of the Berghof Foundation. They had acted very enthusiastically about federalism."

Throughout is existence, NPC has strived to be non partisan and independent, and denies that it is biased towards the LTTE or to any other party. NPC also has never advocated the division of Sri Lanka into two very close countries. However, we do call for a political solution to the ethnic conflict that includes inter-ethnic power sharing, with a federal solution as one possible and positive option. This is a position that has also been taken by government leaders at various times, though never properly implemented.

The peace education programmes conducted by NPC are intended to increase participants understanding of the political history of Sri Lanka, cultural differences and similarities of different ethnic groups, negotiation, mediation and conflict management and also place Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict in an international perspective. We hope that the Select Committee will revisit its assessments of NPC in its final report and offer a fairer evaluation of the organization, its mission and its contribution towards ensuring people's participation in a peaceful and just solution to the ethnic conflict.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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