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Regarding the Sri Lankan Campaign for Peace and Justice – Follow the money

December 6, 2011

Regarding the Sri Lankan Campaign for Peace and Justice – Follow the money

The ‘Sri Lankan Campaign for Peace’ and Justice touts itself as a legitimate charity whose concern for Sri Lanka is primarily human rights. As such they demand to be given recognition as honest voices and informed observers of Sri Lanka. Their slick website has quotes from Desmond Tutu, Brad Adams of Human rights watch and Jan Egeland from the UN. This is dispersed between rolling images of children behind barbed wire, broken buildings, sad faced children with black pottus on their foreheads. They have a blogroll, Twitter feed and a Facebook page.

According to their own description:

The Sri Lanka Campaign is a global non-partisan movement calling for:

  1. Effective humanitarian relief
  2. An end to human rights abuses
  3. Repeal of anti-terror regulations
  4. A credible war crimes enquiry

Featured on the
Sri Lanka Campaign website. Non-partisan huh?

You can almost be led to believe that the Sri Lanka Campaign resides in and is directly connected to Sri Lanka. In fact the organization is located in England. Grayston House, Charles Square, London, N1 6HT, UNITED KINGDOM.

You could even assume that because they are quoting Desmond Tutu, Brad Adams and Jan Egeland that these people were endorsing the website. Unfortunately a quick scan of their website puts that false assumption to bed. The quotes are just there as window dressing to make their site look credible by association.

Are they are really a ‘global non-partisan movement’? I suppose if the internet is ‘global’ then by the same token all websites are ‘global’.

But non-partisan? I seriously doubt that they can pass that test.

The error filled and biased Channel 4 documentary called ‘Sri Lanka Killing fields’ is called a ‘groundbreaking documentary’ that is linked to their site. Readers are urged to click on their automated petition collector in order to automatically petition UN Secretary Ban ki Moon to set up an international process to investigate so called ‘credible allegations’ from the Darusman Report. On the automated ‘Tell Others’ page you can add a list of other people so you can automatically spam 10 others about this website. The blogroll is filled with continuous streams of attacks against the government of Sri Lanka and very little criticism of the LTTE. Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been particularly singled out as a ‘brutal autocrat’ who is portrayed as dishonest and sneaky. Sri Lanka is portrayed as a hell hole where one of the most important problems is gang of criminals called ‘Grease Devils’. More concerning is the wild and unsubstantiated accusation that the Sri Lankan Armed forces were raping their male captives.

Despite what people think about the validity of their blogs there is no way that they called non-partisan. To be fair they describe the LTTE as ruthless. Yet calling the LTTE a terrorist organization appears to an anathema. However they are indignant about reports of the dead LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s house being bulldozed. The Sri Lankan Campaign may not side with LTTE but being absolutely and dedicated against everything that they Sri Lankan Government do is still, by definition, ‘partisan’.

People in Glass Houses

We must be aware that the Sri Lankan Campaign is not without its own negative baggage and associations. Like all organization that use the banner of ‘human rights’ there needs to be evidence that they are legitimately working toward the lofty ideals that they claim to support. Anyone with a website and PayPal account can set up a bogus human rights charity and call for donations. Where the money goes is anybody’s guess.

The list of names on the advisory council looks impressive at first glance. That is until you realized who many of these people are. Some do have very checked backgrounds and have engaged in some very odd behaviour.

Beate Arnestad the filmmaker of ‘My Daughter the Terrorist’.

Professor Chellaney who wrote the editorial ‘Behind The Sri Lankan Bloodbath’ where he praises the concept of Eelamand condemns India for helping Sri Lanka defeat the LTTE.

Noam Chomsky the leftist activist who appears to have scant direct knowledge of Sri Lanka.

Charles Glass the former Hezbollah hostage.

Bruce Haigh the renown critic of Sri Lanka who believes that ex-LTTE fighters would pose no security threat in Australia.

Bianca Jagger the ex-wife of the Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. Surely this is a joke. When has she ever set foot in Sri Lanka?

Antony Loewenstein who is a rabid serial critic of Sri Lanka and apologist for the LTTE. He also appears to have a Zionist fixation of some kind. If you really want to be freaked out, start reading his blogs.

Professor Emeritus Stuart Rees, the director of the controversial Sydney Peace Prize (foundation). (Noam Chomski won the prize this year.)

Teesta Setalvad who was found to have fabricated evidence of atrocities after the Godhra riots in 2002. Surely you would want to run a mile from this person.

Teestsa the evidence fabricator.

And many more….

Where did they come from?

The random selection of what can be described as ‘celebrity activists’ may be questionable but who is financially supporting this ‘Campaign’?

There are appeals for donation on their website but there is little information about their finances.

The Sri Lankan Campaign does stipulate on its own website that:

“Our start-up funding has come from the Network for Social Change, the Tinsley Foundation, and members of the Council of Advisors”

The ‘Network for Social Change’ is not a charity but a funding source for starting project that have a desire to make some kind of social change. They appear to be a generic cash cow for organizations that apply for grants. There is a lot of platitudes about the environment, fixing the causes of social problems and population on their site.

According to the ‘Network for Social Change’ financial report:

‘Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice’ received £12,606 in 2011 as ‘Start-up funding’.

The objectives of the grant were stated as a:

“Campaign to draw attention to ongoing human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and to encourage foreign governments to press for monitoring.”

The ‘Tinsley Foundation’ is a much less benign and has some very specific conditions for funding.

Objectives and activities

The purpose of the charity is to apply its capital and income to a number of specific charities, and more generally to:

  • Charities which promote human rights and democratisation and/or which educate against racism, discrimination and oppression.
  • Charities which promote self-help in fighting poverty and homelessness.
  • Charities which provide reproductive health education in underdeveloped countries, but specifically excluding charities whose policy is against abortion or birth control. (emphasis added)

The Tinsley Foundation openly declares its pro abortion agenda that targets developing nations. This revelation may not sit well with many in Sri Lanka where abortion is considered socially repulsive and is illegal.

The size of the grant made to the Sri Lankan Campaign is not directly stipulated in their financial for 2009 report. However they do say that:

During the year the charity made 17 grants and donations totalling £101,500.”

We may reasonably assume any figure from £5,000 to £10,000 as being worth the effort of filling in the application.

Cha Ching, instant Human Rights Organization

The bazaar world of activist funding through agenda driven organizations like the ‘Tinsley Foundation’ and the ‘trust anyone’ approach of the ‘Network for Social Change’ is a recipe for abuse. There is always a possibility of extremists using the money to fund partisan campaigns whilst claiming to be ‘non-partisan’. In the case of the ‘Sri Lankan Campaign’ any pretence of being ‘non-partisan’ is blown away as soon as you read their blog, campaign sheet, press released, twits and Facebook. Not only do they have the most vulgar exploitation of half truths and falsehoods they willingly associate themselves with some very shadowy characters; such as: Teesta Setalvad and Antony Loewenstein. Yet the true measure of any campaign should be based up its successes more than its noisy indignation. In this regard the website has listed it greatest successes as:

1. Lobbying for trade agreements to be dependent on good behavior

2. Using people power

3. Subverting the government’s grip on the media

4. Working with religious leaders in Sri Lanka

5.  Naming and shaming the international community

6. Supporting local human rights defenders

7. Challenging those who remain silent

8.  Being a truly independent, non-partisan forum

9.  Building a global network of experts

Even if we are to assume that they were responsible for the first two points (which looks very doubtful) the remaining seven points are little more than fluff. “Subverting the government’s grip on the media” in the age of YouTube? You have to be kidding. Any temptation to donate to this self important group is easy to resist.

If this is the measure of success then you are better off burning the money instead.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2011 5:00 am

    Nice bit of research. Just another ridiculous pro-LTTE charity. Enjoy the 27-Nov speech from ‘Act Now’ another completely partisan UK-based charity concerned with Sri Lanka…


    • December 8, 2011 11:30 am


      Thanks for your comments.

      I am not 100% whether you could them a pro-LTTE charity.
      There are certainly an anti-government charity that favours the formation of Eelam.
      There is certainly evidence that they go very soft on the LTTE in comparison to the Government.
      There is certainly evidence that some of their members have questionable backgrounds and ethics.
      One I know for sure attended attended a memorial service for Anton B and gave a speech to honor the LTTE negotiator some years ago. Just search all the names on tamilnet nd you get the picture

      Still they are without question a foriegn activist organization who used seed grants to finance their radical agenda.



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