‘Political will to deliver justice crucial to settle conflict-era cases’

  • transitional justice mechanism
- Post Report, Kathmandu
With the tenures of the two transitional justice bodies due to expire in less than a month, the government is planning to seek a year extension through an ordinance

Jan 18, 2018-Only extending terms of the transitional justice (TJ) bodies would not guarantee justice to the conflict victims until there is a real political will to do so, political leaders and officials from TJ mechanisms have said. 

They said blaming the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) alone for the sluggish investigation into war-era crimes would not yield anything. 

Speaking at an interaction held jointly by the Amnesty International and the Muktinath Adhikari Memorial Foundation in the Capital on Wednesday, they warned that dragging the investigation process further would only make the situation more complex. Nepali Congress leader Shekhar Koirala said the two TJ bodies have been trapped in the lack of political support.

Unless the leadership of three major political parties come together, there will 

be no progress in providing justice to the victims, Koirala said. “There are so many lapses in the legal provisions. Neither TRC nor CIEDP can work unless they are amended as per the international standards,” he told the programme. 

CPN-UML leader Agni Kharel said while issuing the ordinance for the term extension the government should have included the provisions in line with the Supreme Court verdict. 

He also called for mandatory enlisting of extra judicial killing, torture, rape and enforced disappearance as the crimes of serious human rights violation under the existing law for the two TJ mechanisms to function smoothly. “As the international community is always watching us, we should ensure that the TJ process follows the standards and norms set by the international humanitarian laws,” Kharel said.

Sharing their views at the programme, the victims blamed the TRC and CIEDP for doing nothing and demanded officials there to resign if they could not perform. Responding to the victims concern, TRC Chair Surya Kiran Gurung said he was ready to step down last year but decided against it on the request of the political parties. “The TRC cannot function in present situation whoever replaces us,” Gurung said. “We should first ensure that the appropriate laws and resources rather than just pointing fingers at two TJ bodies.”

Among 60,288 cases filed at the TRC, it has so far completed preliminary investigation into 827 cases which will now be taken into the detail investigation, Gurung said. The CIEPD, which received 3,093 cases, is carrying out detail probe into 207 cases. With 

the current terms of both the bodies expiring in less than a month, the government 

has issued an ordinance with a provision seeking one-year extension to their terms and submitted it to the President’s Office for authentication.

Published: 18-01-2018 07:32

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