Junta attempts to control organizations’ operations

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Yangon, November (3)

After the Military Council passed the Law on Registration of Organizations, it attempted to restrict and control the processes and stance of organizations as well as financial flows.

On October 28, the military council approved a law that would allow the confiscation of the association’s funds and assets as state property and the imprisonment or punishment of association members.

The law also includes provisions on the registration of domestic associations and non-governmental international organizations.

According to Section 33 of the Law on Registration of Organizations, anyone who forms an organization without a registration certificate can be imprisoned for up to three years or fined up to 1 million kyats.

In addition to the stipulations of sections 34 and 35 that no one shall continue to operate the association after the expiry of the registration certificate and the cancellation of the registration certificate, it also stipulates that you may not assist or pretend to be a member of an unregistered association.

The law states that if a person is found guilty of violating the provisions of these two sections, they must be fined not more than 500,000 Kyats or imprisoned for up to two years.

Ma Nang Moh Moh, Joint Secretary -1 of the Women’s League of Burma (WLB) claimed that this regulation is an attempt by the military council to regulate foreign donations as well as a ban on the operations of civil society organizations.

“International humanitarian aid arrives across borders. The Military Council wants to provide international humanitarian aid through him. I see that they want to ban the activities of CSOs and use international donations as military weapons,” she said.

According to Section 37 of the Law on Registration of Organizations, the Military Council stipulates that any association shall not conceal or withhold funds, transfer, use, or support in an illegal manner.

In addition, in Section 38, any organization that has obtained a registration certificate may not directly or indirectly contact or support organizations and individuals who oppose the state and members of illegal organizations, including those designated by the state as committing terrorist activities.

According to a legal expert, this law might reportedly take action against both registered and unregistered associations at any time and cut off the sources of support for opposition groups.

Any association that has acquired a registration certificate is prohibited from taking any actions that have a direct or indirect impact on the nation’s sovereignty, the rule of law, security, or ethnic unity, according to Section 39 of the Law on Registration of Organizations.

If the provisions of Sections 38 and 39 are violated, the person in charge of the organization will be sentenced to imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of not more than 500,000 Kyats or both, and it also is stipulated that the organization that commits the crime must be dissolved and the financial assets belonging to it must be kept as state property.

Due to the law enacted by the military council, local civil society organizations that are close to the people may face more difficulties in moving around and providing services.

Therefore, democracy and human rights activists point out that since the military council is not an official government, and the international community and donors should not recognize the Law on Registration of Organizations enacted by the military council.

News- Than Lwin Times

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