BASL funded by USAID – Wimal


Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa, in an interview, says that USAID funds the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and that USAID is behind the regime change.

Excerpts of the interview:

You recently made some revelations in Parliament with regard to the activities of several international organisations such as the CIA, USAID and the NED. But, that was only a brief exposure. Can you give us a detailed account of it?

A: USAID was set up in 1961. It was formed to help out poorer nations via civil activities, economic assistance and humane assistance on behalf of the US. However, the USAID covertly helped the CID to help bring about regime changes in such continents such as Africa, South America and Asia. As their hidden agenda began to get exposed in the world the USAID created the other organsation NED (National Endowment for Democracy) in 1983. The NED already operates in 100 countries and it has around 2,000 projects functioning under its supervision in those countries. Their modus operandi is to bring about regime changes in countries of those aforesaid continents under the guise of establishing democracy.

But, you claimed in Parliament that both USAID and NED had financially backed the BASL. Can you elaborate on this?

A: The connection between the USAID and the BASL first came to light eight years ago. USAID began a programme called CSL ROL (USAID civil Society Initiatives to Promote the Rule of Law). Several civil society groups along with the BASL had been part of this programme. Later it came to light that USAID had even set up its offices within the BASL as well. It has been revealed via reports put forth by the USAID that in order to strengthen the rule of law here the USAID CSL ROL programme had incurred a sum of US$ 3.9 million for the 2013-2017 period. Furthermore NED had supplied finances to BASL during 2014. The USAID had also provided 20 scholarships to enable prospective law students of the Colombo University to study for their MA via the BASL in February of 2014.

Some of the details given by you also show that there has been many beneficial projects being initiated via the USAID, CSL ROL programme. Isn’t this the case?

A: Though on the surface that may be the case the reality is much more dark and it will not bode well for Sri Lanka. The USAID began to pump finances into scores of projects of this country since 2007. But, their intention has been to throughout collect information about the groups that had got tied with them and to use it to their own advantage. From information available to us the USAID NED has incurred only a sum of US$ 1046156 during 2021. But, they were clever enough to carry out the regime change they so desired in 2022. They had managed to overpower the mandate given to the former President by 6.9 million voters here. This has been the case evident in such countries as Libya, Iraq and Ukraine. In that right they had managed to incur only a modest amount of money and get their hidden agenda done through the BASL.

You have revealed the nexus between the USAID, NED and the BASL. Also you have shed light about NGOS as well. What are the NGOs that have been funded by NED?

A: In 2021 alone the NED has funded 15 NGO projects and had incurred a sum of US$ 1046156. They had also funded the International Working Group on Sri Lanka with a sum of US$ 14460. Most of these funds are being taken back to the US but they tend to channel some of those funds for NGOs being operated in certain Provinces here under the name of establishing democracy in this country whilst sustain good governance. But, their aim is to effect regime changes.

Your views attempt to whitewash the Rajapaksa clan and then portray the BASL as one of the bugbears of this nation. Isn’t this the truth?

A: Your opinion is totally wrong. We have clarified to this country with regard to the conduct of the Rajapaksa clan and especially that of Basil Rajapaksa. Basil Rajapaksa should be held solely accountable for the current mess of this nation. He cannot be allowed to go scot free. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a genuine attempt to serve this country despite facing severe odds. He had in fact used his executive powers the least of all Presidents here. But, his style of governance ultimately proved his own undoing. He placed untold faith in his own family when ruling the country and that proved to be his downfall.

He turned his back on the very nationalist and patriotic forces which swept him to power. Some of the decisions taken by him such as the attempt to introduce Carbonic fertiliser overnight were crass to say the least. If I were to touch on the BASL it is clear that it is operating according to the dictates of the US. They are behind the bringing about of this newest regime in this country and they are working hand in glove with their paymasters the US. It is also my view that the BASL is working to create anarchy in Sri Lanka and that is the ultimate intention of the US so that the latter could get a foothold here. But, by the dame token I think the majority of lawyers here are not servile to the BASL and that is the only saving grave for this country as far as this particular issue is concerned. 

By Anuradha Haputhanthri