Chairman and a member of truth commission to quit

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Feb 6, 2019-

The chairman and a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, one of two transitional justice bodies, said they would resign after the House of Representatives endorses the amendment to the Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Act which envisions restructuring both the commissions.

Chairman of the commission Surya Kiran Gurung and its member Lila Udasi Khanal told the Post they would be putting in their papers in a few days ending their four-year tenure as the leaders of the transitional justice bodies that has received close to 64,000 complaints. Both Gurung and Khanal said they were not happy with the government’s reluctance in amending the Act despite the ruling from the Supreme Court.

Gurung had announced he would quit before, in 2017, to put pressure on the government for the amendment. But he later backtracked after then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal assured support. However, neither commission has received adequate resources nor has the amendment been made as per the Supreme Court’s ruling so far.

The amendment bill that is under consideration in the Lower House only clears the way to restructure the commissions after extension of their tenures. However, other issues like revision as per the decision of the apex court and international obligations remain unaddressed.

According to Khanal, they are waiting for the amendment in the Act and completion of the fourth year of the commission formation before they wrap up. Both the commissions will mark their fourth anniversary on Saturday. “We have made up our mind not to stay here any longer,” he said.

The amendment in the Act, which will most probably get House approval by Thursday, has set mid-April as the last day for the chairman and members. However, the room for the reappointment is open in the restructured commissions. Khanal said they are not for continuation even if they get the offer.

Three other members of the truth and reconciliation commission and the entire team of the disappearance commissions, however, are undecided over their future move.

“We are currently working on our annual progress,” said IB Gurung, a member of the disappearance commission. “We will decide about the future course after completing the report.”

The move to restructure the commissions was taken to address the concerns of the conflict victims who have long been demanding a revamping of the two commissions, saying that they have failed to deliver in their four-year tenures.

Published: 06-02-2019 10:26

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