The military is systematically scrutinizing the work of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) operating within Burma, Min Aung Hlaing told a meeting of the SAC in Naypyidaw on Tuesday.
Local civil society groups voiced their concern over the coup leader’s remarks, saying that the suppression of their work could lead to yet more unwanted delays in the delivery of vital aid to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the coup.
“If rules governing the operations of INGOs make things too difficult to operate, groups might stop working; the demands [on those in the field] will increase. What I am seeing and hearing is that it seems like [the military] doesn’t want medical support and other aid to reach [IDPs]. Now, unlike before, medics in the field are forced to apply for unnecessary permissions and permits… NGOs and CSOs are reported to have not been able to provide effective assistance due to the various barriers to accessing humanitarian aid erected by the military,” a health worker told DVB.
A CSO volunteer commented that extra scrutiny was an unnecessary hurdle, and that their group was already encountering significant difficulties providing humanitarian assistance to IDPs due to the military “intervening with unnecessary inspections”.
In the months after the Feb. 2021 coup, the security forces led numerous attacks against those performing relief operations in the country, leading to the deaths of scores of aid workers and volunteers. The junta also froze the bank accounts of INGOs working within the country, banning a number of major organizations and forcing them from headquarters.