NGOs do not always reveal the ultimate goal of funding projects, many of them intelligence-gathering
Material posted: -Publication date: 30-06-2013

- Now in Kyrgyzstan is actively discussing the adoption of the law "On countering the legalization (laundering) of criminal proceeds and financing terrorist or extremist activity". However, the law (in a slightly different wording) was adopted in 2006. Why, in your opinion, need to update the legislation in this area?

- The true motives of the government activity in this area for me while not completely clear, but one can assume that the state is seriously concerned by the level of control over many of the NGO sector and NGOs, which, undoubtedly, represent an extensive network of collection and analysis of information for the needs of foreign countries.

This is a clear breach in security for any state is a serious threat. At the same time, Kyrgyzstan is objectively not enough control in this area, as we say in Russia, which adopted legislation for the registration of such organizations as foreign agents, and has the necessary apparatus for the implementation of adequate control. Kyrgyzstan, of course, attempts in this direction, and the new bill is one of necessary and important steps in this direction.

Of course, it can be assumed that civil society increasingly alarmed by article 12 of the draft law relating to preventive measures for non-profit organizations, considerably tightens state control over financial activities of non-governmental organizations.

However, I Express doubts as to the execution of this law, if passed, because given the number of NGOs and NPOs in Kyrgyzstan, the staff of financial police, national security Committee, the interior Ministry simply can not cope with this volume of documentation, increasing the time for NGOs on the reporting.

- As you know against the bill has already addressed a number of NGOs and deputies of Jogorku Kenesh, citing the fact that the law carries risks for the development of civil society in the Republic. In particular, some Kyrgyz experts predict that if the bill is passed, 40% of active NCO will go into "shadow", and the number of unemployed people in the country could increase by 50 thousand people, causing the country's budget will lose tax revenue from the NDA. According to the representative of the Association of centers of support of civil society Arcini Ubysheva, non-governmental organizations give 2.2% of GDP, which is comparable with the entire structure of health or the profits of freight transport. How justified these risks?

- Risks are definitely there, and I partly share the concerns of NGOs about the new law. However, I believe that given the high level of corruption in our country, the fact that many NGOs are headed by our citizens, I have no doubt that representatives of the state and NGOs will not be able to find "common ground" on this issue. The ability to negotiate on issues (from socio-economic to political) always set this country apart from its neighbors in the region.

I just have a fear that excessive rigidity in selective enforcement of the law, dictated by political motives, could seriously destabilize the country, if for one or another NGO is a serious foreign entities, or have implications for our country. Therefore, I believe that the state should be ready to adopt the new law and understand all the ensuing consequences for the state and society as a whole.

- The civil society of the Republic are very concerned about article 12 of the bill, in which fireside given the right to monitor and gather information on NPOs registered requirements on financial reports, disclosure of information about sponsors and provide data to law enforcement. It is not clear that poor transparency in the activities of NGOs, what's so bad about that NGO status will not be used for money laundering and terrorist financing?

- Here the main problem is that NGOs do not always reveal the true purpose of financing projects, their customers and the ultimate goal of certain projects. Moreover, if access to data of NGOs, you'll find that many beautiful names of numerous projects, surveys of public opinion – is banal, the collection of intelligence necessary to improve the predictability of the situation and management of processes in our society in the right of the customer line. In fact, the whole country has long cataloged the social, political, religious and ethnic groups, social preferences of all segments of the population, geographic features, resources and investment opportunities of the country. Numerous monitoring situation provide customers the ability to constantly, almost in real time, to measure any changes in public perceptions of the economic and political situation. Of course, the publication of these disadvantageous properties of NGOs as organizations themselves and their customers.

If we talk about the financial side of the NGO, and here there are problems because I do not exclude that the implementation of large-scale projects is also related to misuse of funds by NGOs. Because if we a priori accept the fact that the state is corrupt, then we just as well could be talking about corruption inside NGOs, as both in that and in other case we are talking about our citizens. Therefore, these and other questions relating to the activities of NGOs and their financial statements, cause such a heated debate.

- Raises concerns and a highly politicized society and lack of people have faith in tomorrow. But, in fact, we don't know how many of us in the society of radical Islamic sects, where "bearded" first teach "true Islam", and then quietly prepare youth for the struggle against the 'infidels' with weapons in their hands under the guise of non-governmental organizations. Will the bill, if passed, to block financial flows to prepare militant radicals?

- Of course, the problem of terrorism and its financing is one of priority issues that should be solved by this law the ideal. But, I can assure you that in practice, the financing of terrorism is a question of double standards. For example, the Western community is not concerned about the source of funds that now go to Turkey and other countries involved in funding terrorists in Syria fighting against the government of that state.

Unfortunately, if it will be beneficial in the case of Kyrgyzstan or Central Asia, no law on combating the financing of terrorism will not stop the flow of funds to those groups who may be involved in the destabilization of the region.

- In neighboring Kazakhstan is also a debate on foreign grants. In particular, the President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan Nurlan Yerimbetov said that he is opposed to Kazakhstani non-governmental organizations (NGOs) received grants from foreign companies. According to him, the state will be able to Finance the activities of non-governmental organizations that currently receive grants from foreign donors, provided that these projects are useful for Kazakh society. In your opinion, could we agree with this point of view with regard to Kyrgyzstan?

For Kazakhstan this is possible. Although for them it would be burdensome themselves to Fund such projects and ultimately the system of grant distribution would become a corruption scheme. Here the problem of a different nature.

In the post-Soviet space is no established tradition of funding projects shared social, charitable nature on a large scale. This always worked and engaged state. In the West this tradition is, but since the West is always in history and now pursues greedy and selfish goals, then any charity in Kyrgyzstan has an exclusively religious orientation. And it in most cases.

As for political activity, this orientation is also evident, in the case where the foreign customer. The state may not Finance projects aimed against himself.

Overall, I believe that financial control is definitely needed and its results should be accessible to the public, since the population of the right to know on what and where funds are allocated, what are the goals stated in the projects and grants and the results of their implementation.

There is another aspect of NGO accountability. It turns out the paradoxical situation that the NGO monitors and criticizes the government, while NGOs themselves are not responsible.

For example, ahead of any election activities of the NGO "for fair elections", "the prohibition of bribery of voters" and so on. Meanwhile, no one is counting how much money for all time of existence of independent Kyrgyzstan was allocated to such projects and, most interestingly, what the results of this activity. No significant changes in this I personally don't see the votes still to be purchased, but projects are also carried out. There is no evidence that the activities of the NGOs, the population began to relate more consciously to the election that it has become more aware in matters of election law. What is it? Conscious of mutual deception? A convenient excuse for making money?

So I think that transparency, financial reporting, and, most importantly, accessibility to the results of the work of NGOs should be made available to the community.

- Today, many NGOs receive money from abroad. But it is obvious that no one just will not give money, foreign funding are always someone's interests. What can we oppose the planned law? - Only strong in economic and ideological terms, the state may resist foreign influence and their agents inside the country, and this, alas, is impossible in the case of Kyrgyzstan. I guess no matter how paradoxical it may sound, but Kyrgyzstan only saves corruption and irresponsibility all at all levels.

Accomplishing any project within the country always faces the main risk is an inefficient distribution of resources for the implementation of a plan. I hope to have a dedicated agent of foreign influence in Kyrgyzstan, the funds would be used to buy apartments, cars or of the lush Toya.

- In what areas would now be the most effective relief to the state from the NDA? Work with the disabled, with children from disadvantaged families, with individuals released from places of detention, prevention of violence in families, employment assistance? Where are the niches in which it primarily does society need? Can the NGOs to prove themselves in the field of stabilization of inter-ethnic harmony?

- This is a complex issue. In fact the state needs help in all areas that are in the area of responsibility of the state. But we must realize that receiving funds from abroad in the line of NGOs, some additional "bonus" we get along with? Proselytism, the erosion of traditional religious family values, the permissibility of same-sex marriages, or other defects in the perverted Western community.

In any case, we are in a difficult position – the country needs the assistance, but this assistance requires an increase in the influence of other States and their values. As a result of helping us, they destroy us. I believe that the state needs to think about allowable and not allowable damage to the health of society and political stability in the implementation of a project with NGOs.

- At the end of our interview, would like to ask the generalizing question with foreign policy direction. Don't you think that in Kyrgyzstan for those individuals who strongly opposed the adoption of the bill, are Pro-Western NGOs, which particularly intensified when it became known that President Almazbek Atambayev has made a final decision on the conclusion of the American air base "Manas". And now trying all sorts of attempts to "destabilize" the situation, to destabilize society, to Kyrgyzstan fell out from under Western "care" and failed to gain real independence?

- I am more than confident that the intensification of NGOs is a direct consequence of our government are taking measures against the U.S. military presence in Kyrgyzstan. Now we, the true customers of this activity, it is possible to check the capacity of their organizations.

I think for them it is also a kind of exam. Will do they justify the money spent or not? I think that soon we'll know whatever the result. If successful, could strengthen their position and financial situation in the country, and in case of failure, there may be various changes, or even shocks. Thank you for the interview.


Tags: assessment , Central Asia , CSTO