Sri Lanka

Save the Children in Sri Lanka refutes providing funds to the LTTE

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published
Save the Children is deeply disturbed by a communiqué by the Government and subsequent news report where it is implied that it has provided funds to the LTTE. This has never been the case. Save the Children in Sri Lanka would not work in any way to undermine national security.

However, we have in the past worked in partnership with Tamils' Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) beginning in August 2004, when we supported a training programme for Early Childhood Education teachers in the North and East. In early 2005, following the devastation of the tsunami, Save the Children chose TRO as a partner for part of its tsunami rehabilitation work in the North and the East. This was based upon the fact that TRO had extensive offices and humanitarian workers in much of the North and East, and the fact that TRO was an established and acceptable organization for the Government of Sri Lanka, and was registered with the NGO Secretariat of the Ministry of Social Services (registration No: L 5086). Also we learnt that TRO was one of the key organizations working under the supervision of the Early Childhood Care and Development Unit of the Provincial Department of Education of North - East Provinces. Our contacts with them were for the following projects

- Setting up 50 children's libraries and training children on library management

- Providing toys and recreational items for 7100 children for post tsunami psychosocial recovery

- Setting up 24 temporary preschool/day care centres for tsunami affected children

- Constructing 36 permanent pre schools and play parks

Our contracts with TRO came to an end at the end of August 2006, at which point they have completed and accounted for all of the above projects except for completing the construction of 36 pre schools. They were only able to partly construct due to the unstable and deteriorating security situation and the restriction on construction material entering certain areas in the North and the East. Shortly after the contract period ended they reported that their bank accounts were frozen by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and documents seized and ere therefore unable to complete the work or account for funds in the pipeline including the 30 million LKR provided by Save the Children for the construction of pre schools.

Save the Children is keen to recover this money and invest in another project for the children of Sri Lanka.

Save the Children would like to reiterate that it has not provided and would not provide any funds to the LTTE or any other party for military activities. We remain committed to protecting and promoting children's rights throughout the country continuing to work in close collaboration with all relevant Government authorities.

- Ends -

For more information

Menaca Calyaneratne ( Head of Media and Communication) 077 3106200