NC, UML for body to steer peace tasks

  • Want only three parties in a wound-down committee
- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
NC, UML for body to steer peace tasks

Aug 28, 2014-

The Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML on Thursday proposed to set up a cross-party mechanism under UPCN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process.

In a departure from their earlier positions on forming the High-level Political Committee to complete the remaining tasks of the peace process and to ensure timely constitution, the ruling parties seek to curtail the constitution-drafting mandate of the HLPC as envisaged by the four-point agreement reached in February.

They have proposed the representation of only the NC, UML and the Maoists in the mechanism that looks after tasks related to the peace process and transitional justice by facilitating the formation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission on Inquiry on Disappeared People (CIDP).

Nepali Congress General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula presented the proposal to Dahal on Thursday. Later in the evening, Dahal discussed the matter with CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli at the latter’s residence in Balkot, Bhaktapur.

The Maoist party has rejected the idea as it wants to include Madhesi parties and Janajatis in the mechanism.

 A meeting of the Federal Republican Front, an alliance headed by Dahal, rejected the proposal concluding that Madhes-based parties and Janajatis should be represented in the mechanism.

Dahal has made it clear in his meetings with NC and UML leaders that the regional parties should be made part of the larger political process as they are signatories to the four-point deal.

Efforts are being made to from a high-level mechanism by Friday, when Oli leaves for New Delhi for treatment. Minister for Law and Justice Narahari Acharya also held talks with Oli about preparing the terms of reference of the proposed mechanism.

Since the crucial Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee of the Constituent Assembly—led by senior Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai—has been interacting with parties in and outside the CA on matters of the constitution drafting process, there was no need for another mechanism outside the CA to mind constitution writing, said Sitaula.

NC and UML are unwilling to induct Tarai parties in the new mechanism as they were not involved in the Comprehensive Peace Accord in their present capacity. The ruling parties have also told the Maoists that they cannot bypass the PDCC.

Dahal has reportedly been told that his leadership would be acceptable in the committee to steer the peace process towards its completion.

Chuda Mani Khadka, an aide to Dahal, said no such body may be formed excluding the Madhesi parties and curtailing the mandate to discuss and sort contentious constitutional issues.

Explaining further their proposal, Sitaula said that the Madhesi party leaders did not deserve a seat on the committee as their current leaders--Mahanta Thakur, Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, Sharat Singh Bhandari and Upendra Yadav--were in the NC and Maoist parties in 2006.

“The issue of transitional justice mechanisms is challenged in Supreme Court and the OHCHR has expressed concerns over the TRC Act.

We need intense dialogue among then conflicting parties to resolve any problem arising during the implementation of the TRC and the CIDP,” said Sitaula.

NC and UML tried to convince the Maoist leadership that there was no option for the three parties but to work together as mishandling of the TRC and the CIDP could spark another conflict in the country.

Dahal’s reservations

- Include Madhesi parties and Janajatis

- Don’t curtail the mandate to discuss and sort matters of constitution-writing process

Published: 29-08-2014 09:00

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