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29 Nov 2019

Sokhean Ben, Khmer Times

Cambodia: The Ministry of Interior and representatives of NGOs meet to discuss proposed amendments to Law on Associations and NGOs

"Draft Lango amendments on the table", 29 November 2019

The Interior Ministry is due to hold a meeting with representatives of local and foreign NGOs ... in a bid to review and give feedback over draft amendments to the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations.

The ministry issued a statement ... saying that the meeting will be held ... between representatives of local and international NGOs and the government’s working group to work out requests for amendments made by the NGOs.

It said the contentious contents in Lango will be raised and discussed in detail.

Lango was passed in 2015 by CPP lawmakers amid a parliamentary boycott by opposition CNRP lawmakers.

The law requires more than 5,000 local and international NGOs working in the Kingdom to register with the government and report their activities and finances or risk fines, criminal prosecution or shutdowns.

Korn Savang, coordinator for election monitor Comfrel, yesterday said that his organisation will attend the second meeting on Tuesday and noted that it will raise its concern regarding the law...

Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak ... denied that the government restricted NGOs’ activities.

“Due to their criticism, now we decided to sit down and discuss it together,” Gen Sopheak said. “What do you want and what can we fix? They have accused the government of restricting and monitoring their activities.”

Gen Sopheak said that Lango aims to protect the interest of the country and people...