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Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Cambodia  News  >>   Politics  >>   NGOs criticize Cambodian draft law
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        8  April 2011

NGOs criticize Cambodian draft law

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More than 60 international NGOs submitted a letter to Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng yesterday requesting that the government halt the advancement of its controversial draft NGO law “until it is substantially rewritten” to address civil society concerns.

“As it stands, the draft law inherently undermines its primary purpose, ‘to promote the practice of rights and freedoms of Khmer citizens in registering associations and domestic nongovernmental organisations in order to jointly and lawfully protect personal and public interest’,” 62 organisations said in the letter, which was made public yesterday.

“Restrictive, ambiguous, and allowing for unfettered discretion, the draft does more harm than good to associations, NGOs and the Cambodian public,” it said.

The organisations emphasized mandatory registration, the lack of any process to appeal government decisions about NGO operations, and a number of ambiguities in the draft as particularly concerning provisions.

The organisations said their good-faith engagement with the government had “failed”.

They said, however, that they would “offer our full support” to a revised law that would be consistent with international human rights standards and include voluntary registration.

Nouth Sa An, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday he had not yet seen the letter and could not comment on proposed revisions.

He had previously said that he would be sending the draft law to the Council of Ministers “the first week of April”, yesterday, however he said he did not know when he would advance the controversial legislation.


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 

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