Peace Activism in Nepal
By Subodh R. Pyakurel
Nepal entered in protracted Civil War launched by Maoist party in 1996. We lost 13 thousand precious human lives, with more than 50 thousands displaced. There are millions affected by torture, mental trauma, lost past and bleak future. We still don’t understand what was the value and reason of armed insurgency when at the end in 2006 the insurgents entered peace dialogue to participate in the Democratic Process; Election – Constitutionalism and Freedom. Some historical achievements have been made. We are Federal, Secular, and Republic. Political reservation has been made for Women and Disadvantaged Castes and Ethnic groups of the population. The vast majority of the people from every corner of the country made these demands during peaceful movement of 2005 which resulted in the abolition of Monarchy and thereafter the way forward. To back drop these demands was it necessary to launch so precarious a way of enmity and deprivation?
When we entered the peace process, it became clear that both parties to conflict, The State and The UCPN (M) (Unified Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist), are now in partnership, the dirty association to immune past perpetrators. This indicates rejection of the Rule of Law, including non-compliance with the Supreme Court orders to punish several convicts of Serious Crime. The 2012 Conflict Report published by OHCHR reported more than 9 thousand serious crimes. More than 2 thousand are categorized under War Crimes. Courts are passing the verdict and criminals are roaming free. Nepal is party to 23 international human rights law treaties. Quite astonishingly, major party leaders agreed to form an Interim Election Council headed by Seating Chief Justice to perform as the head of the government where former senior bureaucrats are Ministers. The new government was sworn on March 14th, 2013 after a 25 point agreement between major party (UCPN(M), NC (Nepali Congress), UML (Unified Communist Party, Marxist-Leninist) and a coalition of Madhesi (Southern Nepal) Parties Coalition. Hurdles to the political agreement in the constitution were removed under the Removal Clause by the President. Nepal Bar Association, Former Judges and Chief Justices and Civil Society have vehemently opposed this arrangement, citing that in absence of legislature which was dissolved after its failure to promulgate constitution, amalgamating Judiciary and Executive will result absolute power concentration and violated Balance of Power theory adopted in Constitutions since 1991.
Recently, Government has promulgated the TRCDC (Truth and Reconciliation and Disappearance Commission) ordinance, which gives monopoly to the Commission to decide whether to grant immunity to the perpetrator with or without consent of the victim. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Human Rights Community were not consulted during the course and under the provision the Attorney General gets overriding authority to make a final decision. For general Nepali citizens, this is an indication of Nepal entering into a futile concentration of political power in the hands of CJ (Chief Justice), Bureaucrats, Perpetrators and Political leaders who realize that they do not command popular support like in the past.
The powerful phenomena of the current arrangement in Nepal belongs to external involvement. We have seen the initiative of powerful nations; India, USA, China and EU towards this end. They welcomed the formation of new structure without losing hours.
I am the Chairperson of INSEC (Informal Sector Service Center), a leading Human Rights Organization of Nepal having its presence all over Nepal (www.insec.org.np). I am the immediate Past Chairperson of FORUM-ASIA (www.forum-asia.org) for two consecutive tenure 2006 -008, 009-012, which has 49 members in 18 Asian Countries. I am also convener of SANTI (South Asian Network against Torture and Impunity) and a Member of Working Group for South Asian Human Rights Mechanism.
To contact Subodh R. Pyakurel, please email email@example.com, Skype: Subodh.Freenep or visit www.SubodhFreenep.blogspot.com.
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