TRC to set up district offices

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Move aimed at completing probe into more than 60,000 complaints within the remaining 11-month tenure of the commission

Mar 23, 2018-Pressed by a sluggish investigation into the war-era cases of human rights violation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is preparing to set up offices in all the districts to expedite works of transitional justice.

Three years since its formation, the TRC has conducted preliminary probe into 1,600 cases, without concluding a single case. Formed in February 2015, the TRC opened offices in the seven provinces last year, with an aim to expedite the probe into complaints filed by victims of the decade-long Maoist insurgency.

Hardly 11 months before its second extended tenure expires, the commission has reached a conclusion that investigation into the 60,298 cases registered will not be over without dividing the responsibility.

The TRC had collected complaints from victims through the district-level Peace Committees and the central office. Lila Udasi Khanal, a member of the commission, said they have already written to the government seeking funds and human resource necessary for setting up offices at the district level.

“We hope this will help expedite the pace of investigation,” Khanal told a programme organised in the Capital on Thursday to seek suggestions on the reparation policy in the making.

The offices in the provinces and districts can only carry out preliminary investigation into the complaints. It is the central office, led by TRC Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung, which makes final recommendations of action. It either recommends the Office of the Attorney General legal action against the perpetrators or the government reparation, or both.

The Attorney General’s Office is working to amend the Enforced Disappearances Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act-2014 in line with the Supreme Court verdict of 2015 and international standards.

According to Attorney General Agni Kharel, the amendment envisages a special court to look after complaints forwarded by the commission.

“Along with truth seeking and bringing perpetrators to book, we also should give reparation due importance, a crucial part of transitional justice,” Kharel told the Post. Authorities believe reparation could be a strong tool to provide relief to the victims since bringing perpetrators to justice would be difficult in the lack of evidence.

The TRC has completed consultation with victims in all the provinces to set a reparation policy. Feedback from eight consultative meetings would be presented to the central office within a week before the reparation policy gets its final shape.

“We’ll recommend reparation measures to address victims’ aspirations, notwithstanding the capacity of the state,” said Udasi.

Published: 23-03-2018 07:28

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