KATHMANDU, Sept 4: A scheduled meeting of the government-formed recommendation committee - the committee assigned to suggest chiefs and members of two Transitional Justice (TJ) bodies - has been postponed at the last moment.
The committee's coordinator, former Chief Justice Om Prakash Mishra, postponed the meeting at the eleventh hour, asking staffers of his secretariat “to inform the members about the cancellation of the meeting”.
“The secretariat informed us about the cancellation of the meeting. But we don't know why,” said Sharmila Karki, a member of the recommendation committee.
When Karki, also the spokesperson for the committee, tried to know the reasons behind the cancellation of the meeting, Coordinator Mishra's phone was switched off. Formed in March, the Mishra-headed committee is still unable to suggest the prospective candidates to lead the two TJ bodies — Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
Knowledgeable sources say disagreement among major political parties irrespective of the mandate given to the committee has largely delayed the recommendation process. The major political parties, mainly the ruling Nepal Communist Party and the main opposition Nepali Congress, are said to be divided over whom to appoint the chiefs and members of the TJ bodies.
Both the parties want to push their trusted candidates for appointment to the TRC, where most cases of serious human rights violations filed against the top leaders are pending.
In an attempt to reach an understanding, both parties had agreed to name former Attorney General Raman Shrestha as the TRC head. But the recommendation process has hit a snag after Raman declined to shoulder the responsibilities.
Also, the rights bodies and conflict victims' organizations have been protesting against the ongoing recommendation process. They have demanded that the ongoing process be suspended and a consultative and transparent process be initiated before recommending the chiefs and members of the TJ bodies.
Before recommending the prospective candidates, the conflict victims demand that laws related to TJ bodies be amended so that justice can be ensured.