Western funding deployed to suppress voices of Tamil women in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 May 2017, 16:59 GMT]
An Oadda-maavadi based NGO outfit, known as ‘Eastern Social Development Foundation’ (ESDF) is actively engaged by the occupying Colombo to contain the protests from female-led Tamil families in Batticaloa, Tamil activists in Batticaloa say. The families of persons subjected to enforced disappearance at the hands of SL military and its paramilitary groups are being selectively targeted. The ESDF is deploying funds from USA and UN agencies, Tamil activists in Batticaloa alleged. However, an informed source close to Buhary Mohammed, the founder and CEO of the outfit, said that the funds were in fact flowing from UK-based Commonwealth Foundation, Luxembourg based Government agency and PADEM and a Luxembourg-based NGO which is funded by France.

The ESDF is an outfit created to meddle with the affairs of Tamil-speaking people in the East through Colombo-based Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, the informed source further told TamilNet.

Tamil activists alleged that the ESDF is being deployed by SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to selectively ‘buy out’ struggle-centric Tamil activists from mobilizing protests in Batticaloa.

The ESDF has been approaching Tamil women with requests to submit the details of the victims subjected to enforced disappearances.

The activists among the female-led families, who were mobilizing to start protests in Batticaloa were specifically asked to not to engage in such protests by an ESDF employee.

Tamil activist circles have now been alerted on the ‘brokering’ approach coming through the NGO outfit.

Despite some good record of its work, particularly among the victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the district, the NGO is having an agenda of weakening the political voices of Eezham Tamils, informed civil sources said citing certain connections in Colombo.

The ESDF states its ‘programme objective’ as ‘strengthening citizen engagement with government institutions’ and says the funds flowing from the Commonwealth Foundation were also specifically meant towards the programme.


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