A National Secretariat functioning under Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has issued a curious letter on 1 July 2014. The following is the letter in full:
“MINISTRY OF DEFENCE AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT National Secretariat for Non Governmental Organizations
To All Non Governmental Organizations
Non Governmental Organizations acting beyond their mandate
It has been revealed that certain Non Governmental Organizations conduct press conferences, workshops, training for journalists, and dissemination of press releases which is beyond their mandate.
We reiterate that all Non Governmental Organizations should prevent from such unauthorized activities with immediate effect.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), which made the letter public, adds the understandably sarcastic comment that the next letter may well read: “It has been revealed that certain Non-Governmental Organisations have members who are breathing and still moving. We hereby call upon all of them to cease from such unauthorized activities with immediate effect.”