Civil society group protests transitional justice junket

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Dec 15, 2018-

A section of civil society, which is against the attempts being made to form a high-level mechanism to facilitate the transitional justice processas expressed serious reservations over the Swiss-funded transitional justice interaction held in Bangkok.

The section led by Indra Prasad Aryal, chairman of the Human Rights Organisation, presented a protest letter to the Swiss ambassador in Nepal against the Swiss initiative to take political leaders and civil society members abroad to discuss Nepal’s transitional justice process.

The bid to find a solution abroad on the serious issue is unfortunate, says the dissident group. The letter submitted on Friday says discussion of the transitional justice issue in Bangkok undermines basic norms of democracy, transparency, rule of law, human rights and justice.

The section, which is vocal against the initiative of another civil society group led by Sushil Pyakurel, advisor to President Bidya Devi Bhandari, to form the mechanism, dismisses the bid as an attempt to initiate a perpetrators-driven transitional justice process.

“We sincerely request all the member states of the United Nations, including Switzerland, to stand consistently for an end to impunity and fulfilment of victims’ right to truth, justice and reparation,” reads the letter submitted to Elisabeth Bon Cappler, the Swiss ambassador in Kathmandu.

The disgruntled section, however, said it was ready to collaborate with any member of the international community to promote, protect and ensure human rights and peace according to international standards. Around a dozen people including second rung leaders from the major political parties joined a Swiss-funded trip to Bangkok on November 25 to interact on the transitional justice process and to listen to international experts.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders Bhim Rawal, Barsha Man Pun, Matrika Yadav and Nepali Congress leaders Ramesh Lekhak and Minendra Rijal were in Thailand for five days. Accompanying them were some human rights activists including Pyakurel.

Attempts were made to take even Nepal Army officials but it turned futile after the Defence Ministry rejected the proposal following a controversy. The Post exclusively reported on November 16 about the junket, which drew criticism from different quarters.

The Aryal-led group also submitted a memorandum to UN Resident Coordinator Valarie Julliand on November 27, claiming that the victims’ proposal to set up a mechanism to take the transitional justice process ahead was a ploy to derail the process.

Published: 15-12-2018 08:40

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