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Sri Lanka has always been suspicious of foreign aid groups

July 7, 2009

The Times : Sri Lanka has always been suspicious of foreign aid groups
Sri Lanka has always had a tricky relationship with the foreign aid groups that have helped it through natural disasters and 26 years of civil war with the Tamil Tigers.

The hostility has been rooted in suspicions that aid groups secretly backed the Tigers, because most of them worked in rebel territory.

…In August 2006, 17 local employees of Action against Hunger, a French aid group, were shot dead at close range near the eastern city of Trincomalee. Although the Government and the army deny any role, many aid workers remain convinced that one or other was involved.

Last September the Government ordered all aid groups out of Tamil areas in the north. It has not allowed them back. Now it is weeding out veteran aid workers that it sees as pro-Tiger by a visa regime under which none can stay longer than three years.

Aid groups and donor countries have been too scared to protest publicly in case the Government shuts down their programmes. But unless they join forces to call the Government’s bluff, by threatening to take their money elsewhere, Sri Lanka will continue to dictate the terms on which it is spent.
Read article here.

The Times : Victims of Tamil Tiger war hit by Sri Lanka tax on aid workers

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