Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP shares LANGO tweaks




CNRP shares LANGO tweaks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Activists, members of civil society and NGOs release balloons in front of the National Assembly late last month during a protest calling for the revision of the controversial NGO law. Pha Lina

CNRP shares LANGO tweaks

The Cambodia National Rescue Party yesterday presented civil society representatives with its proposed amendments to the highly controversial draft NGO law, as a raft of organisations once again called on Prime Minister Hun Sen to scrap the legislation.

The action came just days before the draft Law on Associations and Non Governmental Organisations (LANGO) is reportedly scheduled to be voted on by the National Assembly.

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said the CNRP held the meeting yesterday to “hear from the NGOs what they want us to do”.

“There was a mixture of suggestions”, he said, explaining that some NGOs urged the party to participate in this week’s expected parliamentary consultation so it can push for amendments, while others called for a boycott.

“Our position is that whatever the NGOs suggest, we will do that,” Chhay said.

A united decision, he added, is expected to be reached today.

A copy of the CNRP’s proposed amendments obtained yesterday reveals an array of changes the opposition would like to see before the law is approved.

The suggested amendments include giving the government less time to consider applications to establish NGOs and organisations, while giving NGOs and organisations more time to fulfil bureaucratic obligations such as submitting their bank account details.

Bans on former leaders of NGOs that have been “deleted from registration”, or people under the age of 18 from establishing new organisations would be scrapped.

The CNRP also proposes changing one of the bill’s most controversial articles, which states that all NGOs and organisations must be “neutral toward all political parties”.

“Associations and NGOs cannot do any activity that is banned or immoral . . . and cannot direct any political action for or against any person or any group to seek [a] public position,” it says.

Chhay yesterday said the law “should make things easy” for NGOs operating in the Kingdom, rather than more difficult.

Some of the ruling party officials behind the law “seem to think that NGOs are the enemy . . . That is ridiculous.”

Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said NGOs were reviewing the CNRP’s proposals and would discuss them at a consultation today.

National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun could not be reached yesterday.

Meanwhile, 40 international NGOs – including Amnesty International, Global Witness, and Human Rights Watch – yesterday wrote to Hun Sen urging him to “immediately withdraw” the draft.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,