Conflict victims seek time-bound work plan before commissioners appointment

Published On: August 10, 2019 06:43 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: Conflict victims have sought a time-bound work plan to resolve the long-pending conflict-era cases of human rights violation before the names of prospective candidates for commissioners of the two transitional justice (TJ) bodies are recommended.

In a meeting with the members of the Recommendation Committee, a committee formed by the government for suggesting chiefs and members for the TJ bodies, leaders of conflict victims said the TJ process will fail yet again if a time-bound action plan and credible basis of ensuring justice to the victims including legal instruments are not introduced prior to appointing the commissioners. 

“We need a specific work plan such as the time required for the formulation of law, appointment of commissioners and settlement of cases,” said Suman Adhikari, one of the conflict victims, whose father was dragged from a classroom and killed in Lamjung in 2002, 

“Otherwise, efforts to settle the war-era cases will go in vain once again.” 

At the meeting, the conflict victims advised the committee to suspend the ongoing commissioner appointment process for now and focus on finalizing the TJ-related laws that have been disputed for years, making them victim-friendly.  They argued several capable candidates have not applied for chiefs and members of the two TJ bodies — Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) citing lack of legal clarity. 

“Given this context, only those backed by the parties will get appointed as chiefs and members of the commissions. They will further widen mistrust between commissions and victims,” argued Adhikari. 

Committee members refused to halt the ongoing commissioner recommendation process. They, however, assured of taking up this issue with the political leadership through informal channels. 

“Promulgation of law does not fall under our jurisdiction. So, we cannot deal with the law but will lobby with the government,” said Sharmila Karki, a member of the Recommendation Committee. 

Formed in March this year, the committee has not been successful in recommending the chiefs and members of the commissions so far. Recently, the committee headed by former Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra has been facing domestic and international pressure to suspend the ongoing appointment process and begin a consultative and transparent process. 

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