Transition to Democracy: Agenda for Nepal

After the historical popular movement, Nepal is going through a transition to democracy in Nepal. Here is a list of agenda for change and transitional justice:

By Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, PhD

1. Political Agenda

· Declare election for unconditional constituent assembly with reasonable time frame (maximum 15 months recommended).

· Declare ceasefire and establish monitoring mechanism in collaboration with civil society organizations, withdraw red corner notice and cases filed against the rebel leaders (Form a powerful consensus-based interim government including the Maoists to conduct long-cherished election for the constituent assembly.

· Send the Royal Nepalese Army and the Armed Police Force back to the barrack.

· Dismantle the Privy Council and other undemocratic institutions and dismiss all diplomatic appointments of the royal regime after October 4, 2002.

· Scrap the 1990 Constitution and promulgate an Interim Authority Statute for day-to-day activities.

· Reinstate the dissolved local self-government for day-to-day functioning till the date of the formal announcement of the election for the constituent assembly.

2. Human Rights Agenda

· Release all prisoners of conscience/political prisoners unconditionally, including the Maoists leaders (pending the verdict through the transitional justice procedure).

· Impose immediate domestic sanction on the alleged perpetrators of suppressing popular movement by ceasing passport, banning international travel and keeping strong scrutiny to ensure that the wrong-doers will not be let scott-free.

· Urge the international community to impose smart sanction (travel ban, bank accounts freeze and prohibition in joining UN peacekeeping mission) to those perpetrators as identified, named and shamed by people in the course of popular movement.

· Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and other vital international human rights instruments and humanitarian law (e.g. Second Optional Protocol to Geneva Conventions).

· Establish a high level commission to investigate the whereabouts of the persons who were forcibly/involuntarily disappeared since February 1990.

· Institute an independent powerful inquiry commission with judicial authority to undertake initiatives for 1) Truth and Reconciliation ii) Human Rights Violations iii) Amnesty and forgiveness , and iv) Reparation and Rehabilitation

· Repeal all ordinances, directives, rules, regulations and codes promulgated since October 4, 2002 to pave the way for rule of law.

· Expand the mandate, authority and the duration of the OHCHR for its successful operation to effectively address the changing political and human rights context.

3. Humanitarian Agenda

* Formulate a National Policy on Internal Displacement in compliance with the UN Guiding Principles by instantly repealing the recently enacted one.

* Form a transitional commission for disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR) of belligerents/child soldiers in cooperation with international experts.

* Conclude a bi-lateral agreement with India for safe and dignified return as well as restitution of property of those refugees fled in the course of conflict.

* Expedite dialogue with the countries of origin for the amicable solution of the refugee crisis including the longstanding Bhutanese refugee stalemate.

* Ratify the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and enact a national legislation to address refugee problem.

* Initiate a psycho-social counseling package for the trauma survivors, families, friends and community.

4. Peacebuilding Agenda

· Reorganize, equip and activate the Peace Secretariat for its effective functioning towards facilitating and enhancing peace process.

· Constitute a high level ‘Negotiation Panel’ in consultation with the UN Peacebuilding Commission to initiate dialogue with the Maoists based on the 12 point consensus and expedite dialogue with the CPN (Maoist) on the common framework of the constituent assembly.

· Establish a think tank panel of experts to provide candid and expertly recommendations to the government in exploring lasting peace.

· Advance the process of hosting international election monitoring mission to work in collaboration with domestic observers to ensure free, fair and peaceful election.

· Solicit direct involvement of the United Nations or other credible international body as guarantor(s) as well as mediation and supervision of disarmament and demobilisation process of the Maoists cadres.

· Amend the existing laws, regulations and procedures for all security organs immediately to match their conduct in the changing context and also to minimize the potential risk of regression during transition.

5. Impunity Agenda

* Immediately suspend the heads of all security organs and head of intelligence and take appropriate actions through the proposed impunity Commission.

* Facilitate human rights organizations and the OHCHR to carry out their legitimate activities monitoring and documentation of rights violation without any hindrances.

* Prosecute all perpetrators, whoever and wherever he/she is, on the domestic level through the proposed Commission, or in a hybrid internationalized court, or in ICC (depending on the nature of crime committed).

* Establish the truth about the past through appropriate national endeavors. This may include, compiling victims’ testimonials or oral histories, supporting the work of forensic anthropologists in determining the exact nature of victims’ deaths, or exhuming the bodies of those killed.

* Establish recovery policies that take into account the requirements of, or moral obligations to, the victims/survivors, including economic compensation as well as a variety of physical and mental health programs and education benefits.

* Honor the victims through a series of measures, including consulting with victims/families/communities to develop memorials, museums, monuments and of memoir souvenirs as well as converting public spaces such as former detention camps into memorial parks or democracy study centers.

* Develop reconciliation initiatives, such as working with victims to determine what they require in order to experience healing and closure, and forging peaceful coexistence among former adversaries without sacrificing justice and accountability for perpetrators.

* Reform institutions that have a history of abusive behavior, including, RNA and the police, in order to prevent future patterns of abuse and establish state-society relationships based on functioning and fair institutions.

Siwakoti is the President of INHURED International, a human rights organization based in Lalitpur, Nepal. He could be contacted at ceasefire_nepal@yahoo.com. INHURED International advocates for zero tolerance to impunity!

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58 thoughts on “Transition to Democracy: Agenda for Nepal”

  1. Patriot: I apologize for my rudeness. I just felt that a defense of Dr. Siwakoti was needed, after everybody was bashing him about his Ph.D. This man stayed behind in Nepal when all the other human rights activists were fleeing the country after the King’s takeover – inpsite of threats to his personal safety.

    A bunch of no-gooders? Sorry if I implied that. I try to remain civil to my fullest extent, and am all for contructive debate and dialogue.

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  2. I would like to point out that yes Mr Siwakoti Dr saheb may have stayed back in Nepal, but, if it were not for the NEO-LAHURES who have become BIDESHINU, Nepal would not be afloat. They are the Neo-Lahures who toil in India, Middle East, Malaysia, S. Korea, Japan, Europe & the N. America and remit money back to Nepal. The remittance money is 14% of Nepali GDP and these are the people who have committed the ultimate sacrifice and the true heroes of the movement (if there was a choice who the hell wants to leave his family, friends, birth place and go abroad). Without these foreign bound Nepali workers, Nepali economy would have crashed long time ago…

    Therefore, staying back in Nepal and fighting for human rights and democracy is all good. However, to infer that these only are the only people who care about Nepal is a mute point.
    Without foreign remittance, Mr/Dr Siwakoti et al could not do their work. So to infer one has to stay back in Nepal to make a difference is redundant.

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  3. No probs Freedom –

    I know we all feel strongly for our country. Debates and dialogues are integral for continual development of a nation.

    I respect Dr. Siwakoti for his contribution. We all were only pointing to the loophole in his proposed agenda. But I agree with you on the front that some of us indulge in derogatory criticisms which I strongly disapprove.

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  4. To hold constituent assembly basic requirements are to be fulfilled. This fulfilment step shall be to create condusive environment.First should be to address impunity. Bring to book to all perpetrators who committed systematic repression to people. But we cannot go beyond lawful action. For this, transitional justice, our government should ratify all remaining international HR instruments including ICC.
    To make the constituent assembly inclusive, all disadvantaged groups (DAG) need parallel constituency.
    Before holding CA,King’s puppets are to be tried. Crime against people are to be exposed. Maoist should suspend their Arsenal and armed activities to complete halt before they join interim government to hold CA. They should be put under strict HR & UN supervision. And with announcement of the date for CA, integration and deposit of Maoist Army and Arms ahould start.
    Currently government is on move, but slow. We should put our pressure and monitoring continuous. In few days I am sure most of the remaining international laws shall be ratified. Interim Governance Bill will be passed to change the preamble and other components of current constitution. I am really hopefull.
    One last request, this time in CA all Nepali living abroad should be allowed to cast their vote. Postal and physical at Embassies.

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  5. This Gopal is one of the cuuning HR activist in Nepal. I like to say him [icd]. He has all showing teeth in the name of Him Rights.In the name of peace these kind of people including Bishnuraj Upreati,Subodh Phykarual and Shusil Phykarul,Arjun Karki and Gauri Pradhan r earning millions of rupee. First hang those people who r earning in the peace and stability.

    They r bringing millions of dollors from european block to assist HR in Nepal but unfortunately these people became millionire.do this govt dare to form a commision to investgate this freud people’s property?he is not phd,he has Partially Head Damaged due to the coming peace in neapl.if once peace will established,all there way of earnings will stopped. Dam Himrights. His is openin a NGO and his wife is working there as a chairwoman. how can we trust these neo elite in our society?

    Mr Dinesh, why did u provide such a platform for such a cunning people? don’t u get other people to write?

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  6. rajendar: good point about HR activists being financially accountable about their donations and income. Their accounts should be as transparent and accountable as the king, army, politicans, and maoists. People need money to do large scale work. They also need good accounting practises to show where those well-intentioned donations are going. Perhaps democracy will spur financial accounting from all sides.

    Perhaps you can suggest a reliable accounting system to the human rights crowd?

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  7. Anyone who has not the guts to say what they want with the anonymity the internet affords is a real big time gutless coward!

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  8. I went through all article and also the comments.Somewhere inbetween lines, i feel so bad when people commented on personal aspects.
    though the comments were good enough, i dont think this is the right platform to thrash all our anger. I quite agree that these so called PHd and leader of ngos are corrupted than any of political leaders. I fully agree that they dont have any new thought to build up a new system. yes i fully agree that these people are guide by 3P-formula, power, politics and patriarchy.
    What I dont like is that we always bark against one and do not start to campagin to eliminate these chronics from nepal.
    few comments:
    how can ‘prisoners of conscience’ be released. They are already prosecuted as per national law of the land and are criminals. Release of these ‘prisoners of conscience’ can feed more impunity.
    AND why dont we advocate for NHRC commissioners nomination. In this transition phase, it is needed most.
    Rest, You cant change him after a long time of his attitude and behaviour by your sentence.

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