A senior Interior Ministry official has dismissed a statement by the civil society groups saying the government is unwilling to have the Law on Association and Non-governmental organisations amended.
Shortly after the fourth meeting at the Interior Ministry on Monday, 100 local communities and NGOs issued a joint statement saying that concerned parties failed to produce amendments to LANGO.
In the statement, they noted some government officials have said the diversity of opinions among thousands of civil society groups is the reason why amendments could not be agreed upon.
“By arguing the need for absolute consensus, the Ministry of Interior is hiding its lack of will behind an impossible standard,” they added.
The groups said that they are concerned over the impact that LANGO has on local grassroots groups and associations.
“Groups operating at the grassroots level have reported that local authorities regularly use LANGO to restrict their activities,” they said.
Bun Honn, a secretary of state at the ministry, said yesterday the statement was politically motivated, noting that the groups attempted to pressure the government.
“I would like to reject this statement,” he said. “It opposed the fact that we have worked together and it was politically motivated.”
Am Sam Ath, Licadho monitoring manager, also commenting yesterday, said that LANGO should not have been adopted.
“An additional law only serves to deter, intimidate and restrict civil society’s activities, which has documented frequent and sustained surveillance and intimidation due to the LANGO,” Mr Sam Ath said.
LANGO was adopted in 2015.