Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lango critics not legally registered

Lango critics not legally registered

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng is speaking at the ministry’s 2019 annual meeting to review last year’s work and set goals for action plan 2020 on Thursday. Hean Rangsey

Lango critics not legally registered

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has denounced the group of 100 NGOs and associations that called for the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) to be repealed as between 70 and 80 per cent of them are not even legally registered.

Speaking at the ministry’s 2019 annual meeting to review last year’s work and set goals for action plan 2020 on Thursday, he said: “They claimed that the number of protesting NGOs and associations reached 100.

“But some of the associations were not even aware they were added, although their names were included to give the impression of a larger opposition to Lango.

“In reality, some of the communities consisted of only a few people and were not registered NGOs or associations. Around 70 to 80 per cent are not on the Ministry of Interior’s official listings,” he said.

Sar Kheng said those that were registered were granted financial assistance from other countries. That financial assistance was then distributed to small communities in return for joining the objection to Lango.

“In some cases, the issues of those communities were irrelevant to Lango, so I do not understand why they were added to a complaint that opposes the law,” he said.

Sar Kheng also responded to the civil society organisations (CSOs) that demanded the government apply the civil code law instead of the Lango. He said, “the civil code law stipulates only one paragraph which does not address anything”.

Stressing that Cambodia is a haven of CSOs, he urged them and inter-ministerial groups responsible for amending the Lango to be patient.

Rights group Licadho’s vice-president Am Sam Ath claimed on Wednesday that NGOs and associations were finding it difficult to register because the Lango undermines and restricts many associations’ and local communities’ rights.

“Local communities, especially regarding land rights, have really suffered from Lango. When they tried to protect their land, authorities pressured them using Lango and suspended or banned them from operating. That is why NGOs are protesting against it,” he claimed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument