As today is Blog Action Day 2013, and the theme this year is Human Rights, I thought it would be an appropriate time to write a piece about transitional justice in Nepal. All say Nepal is in political transition but none of them are clear how to end this transition. It seems political parties have not realized the gravity of human rights issues. The country which faced a decade long bloody war is yet to form an ‘independent and powerful’ Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Politicians and security forces, who were supposedly involved in war time crime, have been demanding blanket amnesty to all criminal cases. In this piece, I will focus on transitional justice and issue of disappearance in Nepal.
Nepal abolished the monarchy and become a federal democratic republic. In spite of the change in the political sphere, overall human rights situation in Nepal is yet to be improved. Political parties are far ahead in paying lip service to provide justice to victims. But they are reluctant to translate their words into action.
Communists waged war against the state when then Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) openly declared that they do not follow parliamentarian system in 1996.
The ‘red revolution’ began with armed conflict, resulting in the death of more than 13,000 people in a decade — from 1996 to 2006. Besides, approximately 1,300 people were forcibly disappeared during a decade long armed conflict in this small Himalayan country. Continue reading
We will present yet another surprise to the world by peacefully negotiating the king’s exit from Narayanhiti Royal Palace.- Prachanda, Maoist Chairman who might lead the next government in Nepal
Prachanda wants ‘graceful exit’ for king: In an interview with the Kathmandu Post’s Ghanashyam Ojha on Friday Maoist Chairman Prachanda says he is in favor of providing King Gyanendra a “graceful exit” from the throne that the Shah dynasty has occupied for the last 240 years. He told the Post that he has initiated consultations with various diplomatic missions and leaders of other political parties on what such a “graceful exit” might be. “The king should not be ousted from the throne in a humiliating manner,” he said. He was not sure what that graceful exit could be. But he hinted that there would be no further action against him if he obeyed the verdict of the people. Continue reading
Role-hungry statements from the UN will only complicate matters. An excerpt from an article published in the Kathmandu Post:
If two of the capital’s most notorious gangsters- Milan Gurung alias Chakre Milan, and Rajib Gurung aka Dipak Manange, both of who are in prison now- were to form a political party, continue with their criminal activities and then say that they would talk with the government only under UN supervision, would the UN jump in?
By Damakanta Jaishi
Have a look at the UN’s official news portal. On Oct 23, it carried excerpts from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s latest report to the United Nations Security Council: “The past year saw unity among eight key Nepalese parties tested by their failure to carry out agreements, including those covering responsibilities toward cantoned Maoist personnel and the return of properties seized during the 10-year conflict.” Secretary-General recommends a review of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and its implementation. “The shortcomings and enduring strengths of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement need to be assessed in order to build on its achievements,” he writes. Continue reading
Any coup in Nepal would be not only suicidal for the coup-supporting high ranking officials of the Army but also against the Nepali peoples’ verdict.
Today’s copy of the Kathmandu Post, at my desk, welcomed me as I returned from a six-day long trek in the Helambu region of Nepal. A single column, front page piece titled “Army chief rules out coup” caught my attention rather than the six-column wide, double-decker headlined main news of the Post. The trip was superb, though I didn’t see many syau jasta gala bhayeki soltinis and Apple in the Helambu which I had expected to see in the region but I must confess the news item made my day. If General Katawal really meant (he has no other option really) what he said, then I appreciate his statement. Such an act would be not only suicidal for the coup-supporting high ranking officials of the Army but also against the Nepali peoples’ verdict. That wouldn’t last long too. The people of Nepal are much more aware, politically and socially, than they were a decade ago. They don’t want others to take care of their affairs; they want to do that themselves. If the situation demands, they are ready to state another April Revolution. Yes, the Maoists are brat. That’s almost proved. But that doesn’t mean the democracy should be a casualty of their foolishness. The main news of the past is bleak (Dashain blessings fail to break political impasse) but I hope the situation will improve in the coming days. I know not all people like these leaders with an open heart but my view is that there is no other option than having complete faith on the political leadership and political parties. The Post news on General’s remark: Continue reading
With the political deadlock and differences still into their pockets, political parties decide to postpone the special House session for abut two weeks to celebrate the festival of Dashain. The alliance of seven parties (Maoist included) today asked Speaker Subhas Chandra Nemwang to adjourn the session, called by the Maoists to decide on voting method in CA and fate of monarchy, till October 28. The session was delayed for two days and was expected to resume at 11:00 am today. Nepali Congress and Maoists are in opposing ends on both issues while UML is trying to mediate. Meanwhile, parties haven’t set the new date for the CA polls. (Click here if you want to read more on this development.)
Badi women, who are traditionally involved in prostitution, have reached a deal with the government
So what if Nepali Congress and Maobadis (Maoists) are unable to reach deal over the voting method in the CA elections, the government yesterday signed a two-point agreement with the agitating Badis. Both the sides agreed to form a taskforce to study the entire problems of Badi community including their identity, rehabilitation, population, education, and alternative employment, among others, and recommend solutions. Both the talks teams agreed to solve the Badi community’s problems through the government based on recommendations made by the taskforce. Badi women, who are traditionally involved in prostitution due to economic as well as social backwardness and ostracism, had been protesting in the capital for the last few months demanding proper rehabilitation, an alternative respectable occupation and education, among other facilities from the government. Continue reading
Government says no more funding for disqualified, absentee Maoist soldiers (PLA members). After failing to furnish details on the expenditure, Maoist leaders have put pressure on the government to convert the amount into grant so that it will not be binding on them to audit the amount.
By Yuvraj Acharya ,the Kathmandu Post
The government has cut the ration for absentee Maoist combatants in UN-monitored cantonments now and has decided to deny monthly allowance to those disqualified during the UN verification. The decision was taken last week when the government released Rs 244.1 million as three-month allowance for combatants. “We have already written to the Maoists that we will not provide ration and monthly allowance to combatants who are not in the cantonments and have failed the UN’s verification,” said Peace and Reconstruction Minister Ram Chandra Poudel. According to a government source, the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has submitted final verification report on four of the seven main cantonments where the number of disqualified and absentees is about 39.7 percent of the total 15,948. Continue reading
The special session of the parliament has begun in Kathmandu but few believe that it will be able to solve the current political impasse
A Maoist cadre shouts slogans in a rally in Kathmandu today while his leader in the parliament tables proposals that, if passed, will direct the government to table another proposal to declare Nepal a republic. Pics by Prakash Mathema /AFP
As per the demand of the Maoist, the special session of the parliament has begun today but few expect that the house will be able to solve the current deadlock because the seven parties are deeply divided over the key issues including that includes declaring Nepal republic on the current session of the parliament. Since the CPN UML also favors both of the demands of the Maoists (the second demand being the usage of proportional voting system in CA elections), there is a possibility that the house could pass the proposals by a simple majority. That means the house will be giving direction to the government, led by Nepali Congress that is against both demands, to table a proposal of declaring Nepal a republic in the parliament.
In such situation, many believe, the government which also includes the UML, will be in a moral dilemma. However many expect that seven parties (that also includes the Maoist) will be able to avoid any such dilemma and conflict among themselves and come up with a solution first outside the parliament which will then possibly be endorsed by the house. The debates on the three Maoist proposals will begin Sunday. Continue reading
Ian Martin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal, talks to journalists in a press conference in Kathmandu today. Transcript by United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN)
Shirish Ballav Pradhan, Press Trust of India: Who do you blame for the postponement of the Constituent Assembly election? Do you think that the election would now be held within the end of the Nepali calendar of 2064 (mid-April 2008)?
Ian Martin: It’s not for the UN to blame anyone and indeed I hope that others, the political parties, will concentrate not so much on deciding who is to blame as on deciding what is to be done now, and as I said sustaining their alliance in order to go forward. Again, as I was implying, the prospects for holding a credible Constituent Assembly election at any particular date is not just the matter of fixing the date, it’s a matter of agreeing upon the steps that are necessary to make it possible. We said some of that when the June election was postponed, and unfortunately there wasn’t then a clear road-map towards November 22, though there were good technical preparations. This is a moment when the parties need to focus not just on the date but, as I have tried indicate, some of the key steps that are necessary for a good Constituent Assembly election. Continue reading
Prime Minister and acting head of state Girija Prasad Koirala quizzes the palace officials as to why Gyanendra, the suspended king, went to observe Kumari, the living Goddess, without government permission.
As the country is increasingly unsure about the fate of elections that are scheduled for 22 November because of the Maoist behavior, suspended king and former autocrat Gyanendra yesterday evening went to observe Kumari, the living Goddess, like a thief, without government permission. With the mandate of the April Revolution of 2006, the government has been curtailing the political and cultural rights and role of the king. The prime minister, in capacity as the acting head of state, has been performing the duties of the head of the state.
[Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has ordered chief of the Nepali Army (NA) Rookmangud Katawal to pull out half of the NA personnel at Narayanhiti royal palace. detail here]
Following PM Koirala’s return after receiving blessings from Kumari in the capacity of head of state yesterday, the last day of Indra Jatra festival, King Gyanendra walked into the crowd at Basantapur and received tika from Shree Kumari, Shree Ganesh and Shree Bhairav. Gyanendra had reached Kumari Ghar at around 9:30 last night. Continue reading