Last week the NGO secretariat took over the control of the Puttalam based non governmental organization, the Community Trust Fund (CTF) over alleged mismanagement and corruption. NGO secretariat comes under the defence ministry
This is the first time an non Tamil NGO has been taken over by the NGO secretariat/defense ministry over allegations, without any proper judicial inquiry.
Established on December 23, 1993 in Sri Lanka. CTF is registered with the National NGO Secretariat of the Ministry of Social Services, Sri Lanka under Voluntary Services Organizations Act No. 31 of 1980 as amended by Act No. 8 of 1998, says its web site. by Its founder, Jenzila Majeed was awarded the 2010 International Women of Courage Award by the US Embassy.
It’s managing Trustee Mr. Pattani Razeek was abducted 15 months ago on 11 February 2010. He remained disappeared to date.
The Coordinator of the Minister Rishad Bathirudeen, Mr. S. R. M. Irashad made a public statement, following Mr. Razeek’s disappearance that Mr. Razeek is detained in the custody of the Defense Secretary for alleged links he had with the LTTE. Mr. Shabdeen Nowshadh, a close associate of Minister Rishard, is a key suspect in the disappearance. Police have evidence that Nowshadh made a call from Mr. Razeek’s mobile phone number to his residence shortly after the disappearance of Mr. Razeek. So far no case has been filed by the police against the abductors.
Brigader Jayashantha Gamage, Brigade Commander of the 143 Division in Puttalam has been appointed as the head of the interim committee. Other members of the three member committee are Assistant District Secretary W.A.R. Wickremesinghe and an accountant in the District Secretariat.
This could be a dangerous precedence for all independent NGOs operating in the country, commented a leading NGO activist.