Burma considers law that could restrict work of United Nations, nongovernmental groups

Source: The Washington Post

 March 18
 Burma’s government, struggling to handle accusations of ethnic cleansing over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims, is contemplating legislation that would seek greater oversight of the work of international nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, prompting concerns of a crackdown on their activities.

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The Draft Law on International Non-Governmental Organizations, a copy of which was reviewed by The Washington Post, contains a vague definition of the groups it would regulate, proposes monitoring of aid groups’ work by Burmese staff and provides the affected organizations with few safeguards against the government suspending their work. This has led some groups to fear it could be used to restrict their work in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar.

The proposed law comes at a time of a wider crackdown on democratic freedoms under Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her government, as they struggle to deal with the fallout of military operations that have sent nearly 700,000 Rohingya fleeing over the border to Bangladesh since August.

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