GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy has to clarify why a UK-based organisation, Mercy Mission to Wanni, was chosen to channel RM65,000 from the party’s Sri Lankan War Victims Relief Fund in 2009.
Being the fund-raising committee advisor, Pahang DAP deputy chairman J Apalasamy asserted that Ramasamy also had a public responsibility to explain the background of Mercy Mission to Wanni.
“Ramasamy must provide full details of this organisation, Mercy Mission to Wanni. The lay public is in the dark about the group,” he told FMT.
Ramasamy is DAP’s national deputy secretary-general and Penang deputy chief.
Apalasamy said the public was curious to know who among the fund committee members had proposed the UK-based NGO.
The issue came to light last week after the committee’s secretary M Satees revealed that the money collected from mostly Malaysian Indians was channeled to Mercy Mission to Wanni.
Satees said the committee decided to channel the fund to the NGO, which had initiated a campaign “Mercy Mission to Wanni”.
“We felt the NGO was a better organisation for us to channel the funds, because we have always doubted the sincerity of the Sri Lankan government to give the aid to the war victims,” claimed Satees.
Apalasamy also called on Satees to furnish proofs that the money was actually channeled to the NGO to allay public suspicion on the issue.
Confusion over criteria used
Apalasamy said Satees’ disclosure had kindled the curiosity of the public, who wanted to know the criteria used to choose UK-based NGO ahead of other organisations to help the predominantly Hindu Tamil war victims of Sri Lanka.
“The public want to know why the committee was convinced to decide on the NGO.
“The people want to know on whether their money had successfully reached the victims,” he said.
For record, the Tamil Tigers had waged a war on Sri Lankan Muslims during the 1980s “for backstabbing the Tamils.”
Sateesh , the former personal assistant to Ramasamy, was the fund committee secretary while DAP assemblyman for Seri Delima RSN Rayer was its chairman.
Last Friday, Sateesh said the committee raised RM73,960.40 during a rally for Sri Lanka war victims on March 8, 2009 in Butterworth.
The RM65,000 aside, Satees said the committee settled outstanding amounts to the suppliers of the event with the remaining sum collected.
When contacted, Rayer said he would hold a press conference soon to clarify and clear his name on the issue.
Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 11.52pm, July 26, 2012 to reflect accurately that the Mercy Mission mentioned in the story is actually Mercy Mission to Wanni and not another organisation called Mercy Mission World. We apologise if our article had wrongly implied the latter group as the one involved in DAP’s mercy mission in Sri Lanka.