Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New Lango committee formed

New Lango committee formed

Demonstrators shout slogans at the National Assembly during a protest against the then-proposed NGO law in July of 2015.
Demonstrators shout slogans at the National Assembly during a protest against the then-proposed NGO law in July of 2015. Vireak Mai

New Lango committee formed

The government has created a new interministerial committee to manage the activities of international NGOs, with an Interior Ministry official yesterday saying the body was intended to monitor organisations’ compliance with the controversial NGO Law.

The directive, signed on December 5 and published in the latest Royal Book, sets up a 33-member committee to ensure implementation of the Law on Associations and NGOs (Lango) among foreign institutions, demarcating the duties of each ministry.

The Economy Ministry is tasked with monitoring the tax obligations of NGOs, with the National Bank asked to track their financial operations. The committee is headed by the Interior Ministry’s Pol Lim, along with Foreign Ministry officials Ouch Borith and Keo Rith.

“We have not had a meeting yet. We had created the subcommittee to sit down with the Foreign Ministry to see which NGOs have signed a [memorandum of understanding], and how many NGOs are there and from which country,” said Lim.

Last year, the US-funded National Democratic Institute was shuttered for not having an MoU with the government, though the NGO maintained the government had not processed its application. It had previously been accused of aiding the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party. Local NGOs often critical of the government were also slapped with Lango-related tax notices by authorities.

Asked if more NGOs would be investigated following NDI’s closure, Lim would only say that the committee would look into all foreign NGOs’ activities.

San Chey, head of accountability group ANSA, said the development was concerning because it left interpretation of Lango up to the new committee.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman