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Mother Nature NGO ceases operations

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Interior Minister Sar Kheng. KT/Mai Vireak

The well-known environmental NGO Mother Nature has ceased its operations after allowing the Ministry of Interior to revoke its licence.

According to a directive signed by Secretary of State Pol Lim on September 15, the NGO ceased operations after its nominal president, Venerable Prum Dhammachat, held a congress with members on August 23 to seal its fate.

The NGO has been a staunch critic of the Environment Ministry, especially on its handling of illegal sand dredging activities that it has struggled to rein in.

Alejandro Gonzalez Davidson, the NGO’s leader, was deported from Cambodia in 2015.

Two weeks ago, two of its activists were charged by the Koh Kong Provincial Court with incitement to commit a felony and violation of privacy after photographing alleged sand dredging by the LYP Group, owned by Senator Ly Yong Phat.

Mr Gonzalez Davidson said yesterday that Ven Dhammachat was only the president of the NGO on paper, in order for it to register with the Interior Ministry.

He said the NGO has weathered relentless attacks by the government but has finally lost its footing, bowing to intense state pressure.

Mr Gonzalez Davidson noted that Ven Dhammachat is an incredible fighter, who has been able to fend off relentless threats against his temple and the forest around it.

He alleged the monk was forced to comply and request the Interior Ministry revoke the NGO’s licence.

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