July 5, 2019 05:00 AM NPT
By: Sonam Lama
NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma looks at a photograph at the photo exhibition on conflict victims at Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal on Thursday. Sonam Lama/Republica
KATHMANDU, July 5: Since the end of the decade-long armed conflict, conflict victims in heavy numbers are yet in their transitional phase of seeking justice. These scattered stories of transitional justice (TJ) victims namely 'Anticipation for Justice' are put on display at a photo exhibition being held at Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal from July 4 to 10. On the first day of the event on Thursday, a book on the conflict victims titled 'Unerased Scars of The Conflict' was launched.
Although the stories of conflict victims have been raised with time, the measures seem ineffective in order to deliver justice to victims. “We have worked on the documentation of conflict victims from Banke, Bardia, Dang and Kailali with the aim to share and constantly advocate justice for them,” said event organizer Advocate Sabin Shrestha, executive director at Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD).
“Justice should not be subjected to meeting the vested interest of the people in power. It should rather act as a mechanism to instill hope and anticipation to provide dignified life to the affected,” added Shrestha.
Reflecting upon the traumas of the conflict victims is relevant in the present context as three months have passed since the government authorities have failed to reappoint commissioners at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commissioners of the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP).
Justice is a united effort and is tough to achieve if any responsible authority goes defunct. “The reappointment of commissioners is a major concern. However, for designations working on such sensitive issues, the selection of just and qualified commissioners is highly significant,” said chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Anup Raj Sharma, adding, “The roles of NHRC actively come into play after reports relating to conflict victims are received from the commission.”
One of the former Maoist child combatants, Lenin Bista who participated in the exhibition expressed his grief on the delayed justice to the conflict victims. “Such documentation of stories of conflict victims amplifies the need to justice through reporting on the victims' physical and psychological struggle. However, it is more crucial that they be eased with timely reparation and justice,” stressed Bista.