Conflict victims, Army officials will join Bangkok junket

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Even as the Army and conflict victims are yet to finalise the names of delegates, they have confirmed their participation in the six-day event

Nov 17, 2018-Nepal Army officials and conflict victims will accompany cross-party leaders on the Swiss-funded junket to Bangkok where they will discuss a possible course to conclude the transitional justice process that has been going on for more than a decade.

This could be the first time defence officials will be sitting with the conflict victims, political leaders and civil society members to discuss the future course of transitional justice, which remains one of the most contentious issues ten years after the Maoist rebels joined the peace process.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders Subas Nembang, Bhim Rawal, Barsha Man Pun, Shakti Basnet and Nepali Congress leaders Ramesh Lekhak and Minendra Rijal, and Sushil Pyakurel, adviser to the President, are joining the event.

Though the Army and conflict victims are yet to finalise the names of participants, they have confirmed their participation in the six-day event being organised in Thailand. Brig Gen Gokul Bhandari, spokesperson for the Army, told the Post that a team headed by a first-class officer—colonel or brigadier general, will attend the event.

Two leaders from the Conflict Victims Common Platform, an umbrella of body of 13 organisations advocating justice for the victims, will also join the team, which could have up to 20 delegates—up from 12 as the organiser had informed the Post earlier.

Tshewang Ngudup, a political adviser at the Swiss Embassy, on Thursday confirmed the participation of second-rung leaders but hesitated to disclose the participation of defence officials and conflict victims.

The event is supported by Dealing with the Past, a division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs which works with countries around the world to address issues of human rights and infringement of international humanitarian laws. Ngudup told the Post that the event inviting the Nepali delegation and officials from the Philippines was aimed at sharing international practices on the transitional justice process.

A source closely following the developments, however, claimed that the prime objective of the event was to bring together the stakeholders and to create an environment for forming a political mechanism to oversee the entire transitional justice process.

Supporting transitional justice process is one of the major strategies of the Swiss government, which has been aiding the peace process since its beginning in 2006. The country’s three-year plan for Nepal, Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2018-21, envisions providing support both to the victims and the government in establishing lasting peace.

Published: 17-11-2018 08:07

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