NGO Forum Breaks Silence on ‘Warning’

NGO Forum confirmed yesterday it had received a “warning letter” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over its advocacy on behalf of communities affected by a railway rehabilitation project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and AusAID. The warning to the umbrella group of 88 NGOs had been issued over a letter sent last year to the president of the ADB that “raised some concerns in relation to resettlement impacts from the railway project”, a statement from NGO Forum yesterday said. It said the forum had informed its donors and members and was “in the process of responding to this letter”… Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong has accused NGO Forum and the international NGO Bridges Across Borders of making “false” and “unfair” claims to the ADB about the deaths of two children relocated by a railway rehabilitation project… Ath Thun, head of the Cambodian Labour Confederation, described the warning letters from the ministry as “an act of intimidation against free expression”.