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Gov’t reviews CSO Lango amendment requests

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Bun Hun, the Ministry of Interior secretary of state who heads the working group, said that further study is needed to make a final decision. Ministry of Interior

Gov’t reviews CSO Lango amendment requests

After receiving a request by civil society organisations (CSOs) to amend 14 articles of the Law on Associations and NGOs (Lango), a working group said it will review the legality of the proposed amendment.

Bun Hun, the Ministry of Interior secretary of state who heads the working group, told The Post on Sunday that further study is needed to make a final decision.

“Having gone through an inter-ministerial meeting last week, the working group will need to study national and international laws further before submitting a report to the government. The requests by the CSOs have some unreasonable points,” he said.

“Cambodia has always enforced the law, including guaranteeing peace. The working group cannot make a decision or refer a report to the government for no reason. It has to have a clear-cut basis,” he said.

On July 6, the working group closed a final meeting with CSOs after six meetings had been held since last November. After the final meeting, the CSOs requested amendments to 14 articles of Lango.

Democratic Institute president Pa Chanroeun said associations and CSOs requested amendment to Lango because some articles created a serious burden on the rights and freedoms of setting up an organisation.

He said the 14 articles made it harder for NGOs to promote democracy, respect human rights and contribute to social development.

Without the amendments, CSOs cannot carry out their work in a transparent, efficient and independent manner, Chanroeun said.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said the CSOs were putting their benefits, freedom and rights, independence and autonomy first.

“They want to only have rights, freedom, independence, but they don’t want to have responsibilities. They want to do what they decide without checks and they don’t take responsibility for everything such as transparency of finance and activities that they must report to the government,” he said.

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