World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


BANGLADESH: Big Brother Law for NGOs on the anvi l

BANGLADESH: Big Brother Law for NGOs on the anvi l

The Bangladesh government wants to quash human rights activism. The cabinet has approved the "Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulations Bill, 2014", which will likely become law soon. The Bill empowers bureaucrats to decide the fate of NGOs and voluntary activities. All individuals or collectives, from NGO's to volunteer groups, receiving foreign funds for implementing projects will be under constant surveillance under this law.

The law will usher even more arbitrary executive actions in Bangladesh. The Bill, in its current form, empowers bureaucrats to grant registration to NGO's on the basis of 'satisfaction' and suspend, cancel, or disband registration for alleged 'irregularities' in any project implemented by the NGO. There is no scope for challenging the government's decision before any court.

On the other hand, the government will be able appoint administrators to sue persons linked to targeted entities. The Secretary to the Office of the Prime Minister will decide the 'appeal' of an aggrieved entity within 30 days. The decision of the Secretary will be final.

Section 19 takes the cake. "For the fulfilling the purpose of this law, the government, by Gazette Notification, can promulgate rules: provided that unless the rules are made, the government, when necessary, by general or special orders, in compliance with this law, can take any action and can execute any order under this law", reads the section. It leaves no doubt about the NGO purge that awaits Bangladesh.

To achieve its ends, the Bill seeks to attribute all related power to the Director General (DG) of the NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB), a wing under the Office of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The entire set of executive administrative officers – from the Upazilla Nirbahi Officer (UNO), the chief executive officer at the sub-district level, to the regional Divisional Commissioner, will be given the authority to inspect, monitor, and evaluate the activities of NGOs. These executive officers will be empowered to visit NGO offices from time to time and conduct monthly coordination meetings for evaluating activities.

Big Brother is set to enter NGOAB, which has so far been ruled by corruption and politicisation, being as it is a part of the state apparatus. The Prime Minister's schizophrenic desires, 'save this one' and 'off with that head', will be honoured by bureaucrats under this law. As it is, the government and the judiciary, which is just another tool in the hands of the government, have been constantly harassing local and international human rights defenders, organisations, and professionals. Now bureaucrats will join the party.

The patterns of recent harassment indicate that this law will be both used and abused against human rights organisations. Those reluctant to compromise with the regime will be crushed. Those with allegiance to the regime will be further trained to hit the right tune when more gross rights violations occur. The little knowledge creation in Bangladesh will be restricted further, as the Bill seeks to ban foreign funding even for autonomous bodies, such as universities.

The Bill has elicited a curious response in Bangladesh. Certain 'elite' members of civil society in Bangladesh are aggrieved about the inclusion of individuals under the control of the NGOAB in the Bill, as this will, apparently, hurt their lucrative consultancies. However, the repression the law will unleash across the nation appears to be beyond comprehension.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news