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Ministry and NGOs set to discuss proposed amendments to Lango

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Interior ministry officials and civil society representatives discuss proposed amendments to Lango last year. Hean Rangsey

Ministry and NGOs set to discuss proposed amendments to Lango

The Ministry of Interior will hold a sixth meeting with civil society organisation representatives on July 6 to review and discuss amendments to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango).

The organisations are hopeful the points they have raised will be included in the draft.

The ministry’s Tuesday bulletin said the meeting serves to review and discuss important points proposed by the parties.

“To participate in the prevention and control of Covid-19, the ministry will only invite the association and NGO representatives who participated in the previous meeting,” it said.

Cooperation Committee for Cambodia CEO Soeung Saroeun told The Post on Tuesday that civil society groups want to amend important points in 10 articles related to registration and language.

They have also proposed removing several articles they contend restrict freedom and activities.

“Civil society organisations expect an amendment to the law because there are different practices for the ministry and the sub-national levels, which creates difficulty in carrying out work,” Saroeun said.

However, he said he did not know to what extent the ministry will accept the opinions that have been proposed.

The ministry’s Department of Association and Political Party Affairs director Chhim Kan told The Post on Tuesday that according to the ministry’s plan, it will push this meeting as fast as possible until it leads to an amendment.

He said he guaranteed that all proposed requests will be reviewed. But he cannot confirm to what extent they will be accepted.

“The government has the final decision on what to include. The working group is currently collecting the requests and we only discuss the reasons for the proposals and the grounds they are based on,” Kan said.

The Lango was last amended in 2015 and consists of nine chapters and 39 articles.

However, national and international civil organisations claim that as it stands, it restricts the freedom and the work of associations and NGOs.

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