Sri Lanka has emphasized that regulation, transparency and accountability of funding to NGOs and NPOs is a pre-requisite in the interest of national security and counter-terrorism as recognized by states, and that obligation placed on states to adhere to the regulatory framework in compliance with 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, makes it mandatory to monitor fund transfers of all financial institutions inclusive of NPOs and NGOs (associations) and other financial institutions, in countering financing of terrorism, money laundering or other related trans-national crimes.
Intervening during an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association Maina Kiai, at the ongoing 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council on Thursday (30 May 2013), Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Manisha Gunasekera, said “while Sri Lanka agrees that access to resources is important for the vibrant functioning of civil society, we observe that Mr. Kiai does not seem to adequately take into account the negative impact of lack of or insufficient regulation of funding of associations on national security and counter-terrorism”. Cautioning that “some NGOs and associations can also play a fundamental role in feeding terrorism and conflict”,
Ms. Gunasekera recalled challenges faced by Sri Lanka where “front organisations of the LTTE posing as legitimate civil society organisations and charities based overseas formed part of a complex international terrorist network which through various means injected the funding and resources needed to nurture the thirty-year terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka. These are actual situations and experiences which the Rapporteur should take cognizance of in order to provide a balanced and pragmatic assessment on the subject of funding of associations and counter-terrorism”.