KATHMANDU, Jan 26: As the government faces widespread criticism for some of its decisions such as the appointment of the chiefs and members of the two transitional justice (TJ) bodies and naming murder accused Agni Prasad Sapkota as speaker, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) have agreed to move ahead defying all protests.
In a bid to make an understanding on how to move ahead in the context of the conflict victims and human rights defenders protesting against these government decisions, NCP Executive Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal invited main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba to the Prime Minister's Residence, Baluwatar. At the meeting, the leaders reached an understanding to stand together while resolving the cases related to transitional justice and ending stalemate in parliament.
Leaders from both the parties discussed for three hours if pressure is being mounted on the government regarding transitional justice and international community is taking a harsh position against Nepal.
Although the top leaders didn't divulge the details of their future strategy to deal with the above-mentioned issues, some second-rung leaders who were present at the meeting said both the parties will forge a common position in resolving the political issues and challenges lying ahead.
“The discussion was focused on running the state where leaders from the ruling parties made a common understanding with the main opposition,” said NCP leader Subas Nembang, adding, “Holding discussions with the main opposition and making a common position is quite natural in politics.”
Leader Nembang said the meeting was focused on holding parliamentary meeting, electing the speaker and expediting the TJ process.
According to the leaders attending the meeting, both NCP and NC will forge a consensus in case of difficulties.
Despite strong protests from conflict victims and human rights organizations, the government last week appointed commissioners at the two TJ bodies - Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP). The conflict victims were in favor of appointing commissioners through a transparent and credible manner only after the enactment of the TJ law ensuring their hope to get justice. But the government-appointed their faithfuls as commissioners.
The conflict victims and human rights defenders are irked by the government. On Saturday, four prominent international human rights organizations - International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and TRIAL — warned that the government decision could dampen the victims' hope to get justice. They have termed the decision as a “serious setback” to the TJ process.
Along with several leaders, NCP Executive Chairman Dahal and NC chief Deuba are accused of serious human rights violation during the decade long insurgency. Multiple complaints have been filed at the TJ bodies against both leaders.