August 19, 2019 06:00 AM NPT
Recommendations committee divided
Prakash Wasti, one of the members of the committee representing the National Human Rights Commission, has been suggesting to the committee to recommend commissioners only when the law is revised to ensure justice to the conflict victims.
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: Prime Minister KP Oli on Sunday said that commissioners for the transitional justice (TJ) bodies will be appointed within a week.
This comes at a time when leaders of the major parties are at loggerheads over selecting commissioners and members of a committee assigned to make nominations are also divided over the process.
In his special address to the parliament, the head of the government said the recommendation committee formed for short-listing candidates for two TJ bodies —Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Commission — will be announced within a week.
“I believe both the TRC and CIEDP will be formed within a week. The government will appoint commissioners shortly after the committee recommends chiefs and members of both the commissions this week,” said PM Oli.
The committee headed by former chief justice Om Prakash Mishra is struggling to recommend chiefs and members for the TJ bodies since the last five months as major parties differ over the candidates.
Both the ruling Nepal Communist Party and the main opposition Nepali Congress want to appoint their trusted men as chiefs and members of the commissions.
The ruling NCP has been reportedly lobbying to appoint to Govinda Bandi as chief of TRC whereas NC wants to see its own nominee heading the TRC, where most cases of serious human rights violations filed against top leaders are pending.
Conflict victims and rights organizations both inside the country and abroad have been mounting pressure on the government to appoint commissioners only after revising the TJ law in line with international standards.
Sources said the five-member recommendation committee is now divided over whether to recommend commissioners without the parliament revising the disputed TJ-related law, according to sources.
Prakash Wasti, one of members of the committee representing the National Human Rights Commission, has been suggesting to the committee to recommend commissioners only when the law is revised to ensure justice to the conflict victims.
NHRC Chairman Anup Raj Sharma said he has suggested to Wasti to keep away from the recommendation process by registering a note of dissent.
“Prakash Wasti is trying to establish system in the recommendation committee although he is facing threats from committee members in recent days,” said Sharma adding, “I have advised him to walk out of the process if he feels uncomfortable or if international standards are compromised.”
As the commissioners recommendation process prolongs, over 65,000 cases of human rights violation filed at the commission remain unaddressed.