No tourist visas for NGO activists
A Non-Governmental Organization headquartered in Colombo, is under investigation for inviting South Indian women activists for projects in the northern and eastern districts as well as Puttalam.
Security sources told The Island yesterday that on the invitation of an NGO called Viluthu, several activists, including Sharifa Khanam and Ester Devakumari had conducted programmes here in the recent past.
Responding to a query, a senior official said that Devakumari had been deported as she had been engaged with an NGO after having arrived here on a tourist visa.
The official said: “Devakumari arrived here on June 19. She conducted a workshop for a group of northern widows at the Nedunkerni Divisional Secretariat on June 23. Having arrested her at the Omanthai police checkpoint, Devakumari was brought to Colombo and deported the following day. She was sent back to Chennai.”
Viluthu focuses its activities in Trincomalee, Jaffna, Puttalam and Batticaloa.
Sources said that a group of Viluthu activists was believed to have visited Tamil Nadu in December 2011.
The official said that NGO activists wouldn’t be allowed to use tourist visas.
Sources said that Viluthu had received funding from several Western and American donors and was one of the most active organizations in the post-war era.
By Shamindra Ferdinando