Smear Campaign in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense tried to discredit the demining program of Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) this week, by insinuating that NPA provided the LTTE ‘Tamil Tiger’ rebels with vehicles.

In a statement posted on their website NPA forcibly refuted the allegations, saying the “current tendentious reporting in Sri Lankan media has no basis in facts.”  Indeed, NPA had reported LTTE’s forcible removal of eight vehicles from its compound to the National Steering Committee for Mine Action under the Ministry of Nation Building and Infrastructure Development. It had also lodged a complaint with the LTTE.

This smear campaign occurs in the context of an increasingly difficult environment for demining NGOs in Sri Lanka, a worsening human rights situation and a deterioration in security.

Demining programs necessarily occur during or after conflict and thus often struggle to negotiate the political tensions that can buffet them from all sides.  For examples from other countries see my case studies on Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 30 July 2008.

2 Responses to “Smear Campaign in Sri Lanka”

  1. The record is finally being set straight in the Sri Lankan press:

  2. […] NPA had already suspended its mine action program for one year, partly as a result of government insinuations that NPA was too close to the ‘Tamil Tiger’ rebels, a claim NPA forcefully denies. To read an earlier article on the conflict between NPA and the Sri Lankan government, click here.  […]

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