Registration of 334 Bangladesh NGOs cancelled (Lead)

August 5th, 2010 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Aug 5 (IANS) Bangladesh has cancelled the registration of 334 NGOs in the last four months on charges of patronising militancy and for alleged corruption and misuse of foreign funds.
The government’s NGO Affairs Bureau (NGOAB) has seized moveable and non-moveable property of these organisations, which were operating in the name of social welfare, charity and voluntary work.

The move is significant as NGOAB had cancelled only 56 foreign-funded NGOs since 1990, The Daily Star said Thursday.

Media reports say the government’s drive is to ensure that foreign funds flowing into the proliferating NGOs are not diverted to activities that hurt Bangladesh.

Authorities last year recovered arms and ammunition from a mosque and a seminary on Bhola island run by a NGO with headquarters in London, headed by a Bangladeshi expatriate.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an NGOAB official said some organisations were supposed to run their activities in orphanages and religious places.

But the intelligence agencies and NGOAB investigators did not find any such activities and feared that the NGOs were involved in militant activities.

Financial mismanagement, complaints by donors, squabbles among NGO managers and complaints from beneficiaries were among the reasons for the drive.

The drive is continuing and more NGOs are likely to be shut, officials said.

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