Truth and Reconciliation Commission chairman and member put in papers

- BINOD GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Feb 7, 2019-

The chairman and a member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, one of two transitional justice bodies, have resigned from their positions with effect from Sunday.

 “Commission Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung and member Lila Udasi Khanal have submitted their resignations to the TRC Secretariat,” Shree Kirshna Subedi, another member of the commission, confirmed.

The resignations will be dispatched to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval. The two officials had for long expressed their dissatisfaction at government’s reluctance to amend the Commission on Investigation of Disappeared Persons, Truth and Reconciliation Act-2014 as per the 2015 Supreme Court verdict which had struck down provisions of amnesty to those involved in serious human rights violations during the time of decade-long civil war.

The entire investigation process, they complained, was affected as the Act was not amended in line with the apex court ruling.

Gurung had earlier in 2017 announced that he would quit to put pressure on the government for the amendment. But he later backtracked after then prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, chairman of then CPN (Maoist Centre), assured support.

However, the commission was neither given adequate resources, nor the Act was amended as per the court ruling. Talking to the Post on Tuesday, Khanal had said they were waiting for the Act amendment and completion of the fourth year of the formation of commission to call it quits.

The federal Parliament on Wednesday endorsed the amendment bill.

The two commissions, whose terms are set to expire on Saturday, now will get one extension of one year.

The TRC, which has over 63,000 cases to deal with, will be without leadership starting Sunday.

Other three members of the commissions, however, are likely to remain in the post for now.

“The commission won’t be without leadership for long as the government is open to replacing Gurung with a new face,” said a member of the commission who is willing to continue in the office. The incumbent chairpersons and members, according to the amendment bill endorsed on Wednesday, can remain in their office until mid-April. However, they can get reappointment, if government wishes, in the restructured commissions.

Published: 07-02-2019 10:48

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