September 2023

CSO Collective Voices its Concerns

The CSO Collective held a meeting to discuss the deteriorating conditions in the country in which hardships of the people continue to grow along with governmental suppression of dissent. NPC was one of the core group of organizers. More than 500 leading civic activists from across the country attended the meeting. NPC took on the task of ensuring participation by clergy from all religions by facilitating the attendance of 68 religious clergy from its 17 District Inter Religious Committees as well as 25 youth and seven coordinators from its Local Inter Religious Committees. In addition, 24 representatives from NPC's partner CSOs at the district and divisional levels also attended.

The statement that was issued highlighted the key concerns of CSOs at the present time. It noted that “The recent attempts to introduce extremely oppressive versions of laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Act, Broadcasting Commission Act and the NGO Act are examples of the Government's attempt to threaten and control democratic space.”

The Collective called upon the political establishment to take immediate steps to uphold and defend the foundational principles of democracy by:

  • Ensuring that free and fair elections essential for inclusion are held on time, starting immediately with the Local Government and Provincial Council elections.
  • Uphold the fundamental rights of citizens, including freedom of expression and association and right to information.
  • Protect civic space and create an enabling environment for civil society activism.
  • Ensure citizen consultation and participation in steering economic recovery.
  • Govern with transparency and accountability, ensuring full public scrutiny.
  • Empower the independent commissions to fulfill their roles effectively.
  • Take a genuine effort to implement essential anti-corruption reforms.
  • Take action to prosecute past and present acts of corruption to end the climate of impunity.