Equitable Cambodia allowed to resume work

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The Equitable Cambodia office in Phnom Penh. Licadho

The Ministry of Interior has officially allowed Equitable Cambodia, an NGO involved with community advocacy, to resume its work after it had been suspended since September last year.

A letter signed yesterday by Undersecretary of State Bun Honn and addressed to Equitable Cambodia’s executive director Eang Vuthy asked him to run the organisation in accordance with the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations.

“The Ministry of Interior has decided to allow Equitable Cambodia to continue its activities after it has fulfilled obligations set by the ministry,” Mr Honn wrote.

Equitable Cambodia was temporarily suspended in late September by the Interior Ministry, which said the organisation had acted in contravention of the law.

The ministry wanted the executive director to reveal bank account statements, its activity and other financial reports.

The suspension took place after the ministry received a complaint from people living in Kampong Speu province’s Aural district on August 30.

The people that filed the complaint also protested at Equitable Cambodia headquarters, accusing the organisation of inciting the community into land disputes with tycoon Ly Yong Phat.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng signalled the NGO could resume its operations after his meeting with EU ambassador George Edgar in February.

Heang Sokun, manager of community organising programs with Equitable Cambodia, yesterday welcomed the news, saying staff would restart existing programmes.

“We may hold a meeting together to discuss how to continue activities,” Mr Sokun said.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said the ministry’s decision came as no surprise to him because the organisation performed its mission legally.

“I think the reason why the organisation was suspended in the past was not justified because it was just based on a complaint from a group of people,” he said.

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