Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t, CSOs discuss Lango



Gov’t, CSOs discuss Lango

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ministry secretary of state and working group director Bun Honn said there will be a consultation forum between the government and CSOs in the future. Hean Rangsey

Gov’t, CSOs discuss Lango

The government’s working group coordinating civil society organisations’ (CSO) proposals and requests to amend the Law on Association and Non-governmental Organisations (Lango) held its latest meeting on Monday at the Ministry of Interior.

Ministry secretary of state and working group director Bun Honn said: “After this meeting, we will report to Minister Sar Kheng and request an internal meeting of the working group.”

Honn said according to procedure, the government alone is responsible for making a decision on any amendment to the law.

He said CSOs may be involved at other stages of the process. There will be a consultation forum between the government and CSOs in the future.

“We have to continue our consultations next month. CSOs participated at the meeting and can participate in other workshops we may organise.

“CSOs can also join the process via representatives of parliament when the draft law reaches the National Assembly if there are any amendments to another article,” he said.

The working group and the representatives of the 500 CSOs which exist in Cambodia issued a joint statement after the meeting which said they discussed 17 articles in Lango.

“The working group, as well as the Ministry of Interior, has committed to preparing the next consultative meeting with representatives of the CSOs with the aim of strengthening partnerships between the government and CSOs to expand and strengthen the democratic process in Cambodia,” the statement said.

Monitoring and advocacy coordinator for the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) and CSO representative Korn Savang attended the meeting on Monday.

He said throughout the meetings with the working group, which began last November, CSOs discussed their requests and concerns. But the outcome of the amendment is still unknown as the process is continuing.

“At the first meeting, our CSOs proposed to proceed with the amendment of this law with 17 articles. At the last meeting, we decided on 14 articles that we wanted to be amended,” he said.

Among the 14 articles, he said there were issues related to the registration procedure of CSOs, tax reporting procedures and issues involving punishments levied for certain offences.

“Our civil society organisations view that the articles on the Criminal Code of this law and some procedures are not in line with the Cambodian Constitution. These are where we proposed amendments,” he said.

Soeung Sen Karuna, the senior investigator of human rights group Adhoc, also attended the meeting and said the government had given CSOs the opportunity to propose and clarify amendments to the law.

“The discussions in the past have borne fruitful results. But what CSOs are unhappy about is that this has taken longer than any other legal amendment.

“Therefore, we also want to have consultations on the amendment at each stage for a speedy review of the CSOs’ requests,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there