Friday, December 26, 2008

More governmental control over non-governmental organizations

Inter Press Service reports that Prime Minister Hun Sen wants stricter laws for local and international NGO:s in Cambodia. He claims the new laws is needed to control terrorists, but critics say this will restrict the democratic space yet more.

Borithy Lun, President for Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, the largest Cambodian umbrella organization for NGO:s, said to IPS that there is no need for stricter laws. Since all organizations need to register at the authorities, the government already knows about their acitivities.

Many observers say that the democratic space in Cambodia has shrinken after last summers election. Reporters without borders and Amnesty International has reported about a harder reality for journalists and human rights activists.

China has recently become one of Cambodia's most important donor countries, and Hun Sen has pointed out that unlike the western aid, the Chinese won't require conditions such as good governance.

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