Attack on NGO office in Colombo roundly condemned

Staff Correspondent | Published on January 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

We, the following undersigned citizens, strongly condemn the attack on the Viluthu office in Colombo between the night of the 23rd of January and early hours of

Shanthi A Sachithanandam

Tuesday morning, the 24th January. The office was broken into and searched by unknown persons. We are especially perturbed that this incident occurred in a high security zone in Colombo. This is not the first time a civil society group has been attacked and we feel this cowardly act was carried out in order to intimidate the organisation. Viluthu’s work is focused on good governance and empowerment in the north and east of Sri Lanka in supporting the war-affected community. These kinds of attacks pose a threat to an open society that is founded on democratic values and the rule of law, and upholds freedom of speech and civic activism. It is such a society that we as Sri Lankans should nurture if we are to move towards reconciliation and a lasting peace.

We support and encourage Ms. Shanthi Sachithanandan and the Viluthu team to continue their work on promoting social justice and women’s rights. We hope that incidents such as this one will never happen again in the future. We urge the law enforcement authorities, especially the Inspector General of Police, to act speedily and carry out investigations, and arrest those responsible for this incident.

Mr. Jehan Perera (National Peace Council)

Ms. Nimalka Fernando

Ms. Sharmini Boyle

Ms. Visaka Dharmadasa (Association for War Affected Women)

Mr. Ruki Fernando (Rights Now Collective for Democracy)

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Mr. J.C. Weliamuna

Mr. Nigel V. Nugawela

Ms. Anberiya Hanifa (Muslim Women’s Research Action Forum)

Ms. Shreen Saroor (Women’s Action Network)

Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran (Women’s Education and Research Centre)

Dr. Sumathy Sivamohan

Ms. Priya Thangarajah

Mr. Mirak Raheem

Mr. Sudarshana Gunawardana

Ms. Anita Nesiah

Ms. Chulani Kodikara

Mr. K. S. Ratnavale (Centre for Human rights and development)

Mr. K.M.N. Mohammed

Ms.DushiYanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Ms. Sithiravel Ithayarani

Ms.Sumika Perera

Ms. Mahaluxmi Kurushanthan

Ms.Ashila Niroshine Mapalagama

Ms. M. Mangaleswary Shanker

Ms. Jensila Majeed (Women’s Action Network)

Ms. Dilrukshi Handunnetti

MR. R.M. B Senanayake

Mr. Tony Seneviratne

Ms. Rajani Chandra

Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan (Point Pedro Institute of Development)

Ms. Deanne Uyangoda

Ms. Cayathri Divakalala

Ms. Sharmila Mohamad Hanifa (Jaffna Civil Society for Equality)

K. Guruparan (University of Jaffna)

Read more about Viluthu here

Viluthu programme strategy

Viluthu means, in Tamil, the hanging roots of a Banyan tree. Just as the hanging roots of the tree support and nourish the branches to spread wide, this organization supports and strengthens people’s network in the conflict affected North and East


Viluthu envisions a world of tolerance and social justice; A society enabled to practice participatory democracy where resources and opportunities are shared amongst all regions and communities in a just manner.


Promoting a culture of democracy by facilitating changes in legislations, policies and institutional culture through building capacities and instilling values that underpin a democratic and inclusive society.

History and Context

The lack of governance is at the core of the crisis facing Sri Lanka today. Very few proponents of international development would disagree that the need for building capacity for better governance is paramount in the current day context. With a view to building capacity towards better governance Viluthu was established in March 2003.

Sri Lanka is a country endowed with ample natural resources. Till recent times, it used to boast of a high human development index compared to other countries in Asia. Yet, now it is extending its begging bowl for relief, rehabilitation and development interventions.

The causes for this are many faceted. A highly centralized state which has spawned a civil war, a relatively taciturn local government, widespread corruption at the highest political levels, stark human rights abuses and a dormant civil society count as some of the major reasons. No amount of development aid can put this country back on the road to recovery unless good governance is restored.

In a country where war has been raging for over two and a half decades leading to high levels of militarization, civil society has not been able to speak out. In this context Viluthu finds it imperative to work with the civil society through the youth, through vulnerable women, through local government, the private sector and the media: Promoting good governance by building capacities, especially in the Tamil speaking areas of the North and East




1 Comment to “Attack on NGO office in Colombo roundly condemned”

  • … [Trackback]…

    […] Read More: […]…

Human Rights

Shanthi A Sachithanandam

Attack on NGO office in Colombo roundly condemned

We, the following undersigned citizens, strongly condemn the attack on the Viluthu office in Colombo between the night of the 23rd of January and early ...