On Friday, 5 February 2016, a group of Syrian civil society organisations issued a statement; MPC Journal got a copy of it, announcing their withdrawal from the Syrian Civil Coalition “Tamas”. The withdrawal owes to reasons related to the coalition’s management, its procedural rules and lack of transparency.
The Syrian Civil Coalition “Tamas” was founded in Beirut in May 2014 after several meetings of representatives of more than 50 Syrian civil society organizations and dozens of independent activists. The foundation of “Tamas” aimed at creating a solid nucleus of a civil society through promoting the role of these organizations in shaping the future of a Syrian government.
The goal is to build a government based on the principles of good governance stressing the need to preserve the Syrian social fabric. The coalition is also aimed at creating opportunities for all allied organisations through the exchange of experiences, participation and equitable distribution of grants.
According to the statement issued by ten civil society organisations, which had participated in the coalition “Tamas”: “Some did not realize our understanding of the coalition as a part of a cumulative cultural building that needs believers in teamwork and cooperative behaviour to be activated. It is not possible to establish a coalition based on the moods and individual control of a person or group of persons, who surpass the ‘administration’ and ‘procedural rules’ turning ‘Tamas’ into a private company.”
The statement also referred to the coalition’s failure to address the issues they faced when organising the second year’s conference such as having to postpone the conference and the absence of dozens of invitees.
The biggest issue was the lack of financial transparency, which has been systematically ignored. The statement accused the coalition of not addressing issues related to “financial files” and the adoption and implementation of new projects.
The statement also pointed out that the proposed representation of civil society organisations in Geneva 3 was an important reason to bring the exploitation of “Tamas” by specific people to the surface again. Persons in “Tamas”, according to the statement, have repeatedly been violating the procedural rules of the coalition.
Previous to this statement, three members of the governing body of the coalition, including the Vice President of the Commission and a number of independent members resigned from “Tamas”.
The retreating organisations are: “Bergav Centre for Liberties and Media, Committees of Kurdish Spring in Syria (Komîtên Bihara Kurdî li Sûriyê), Mardin Hasaka Association, Khabour Forum, Hayat Salam Organisation, Rocher Network for Business and Development, Dem Foundation, Hero Organisation for Women, HiFi Association and the Centre of Development and Civil Society.”