KATHMANDU, Dec 6: The process initiated to recommend commissioners for the two key transitional justice (TJ) bodies has become delayed further after the head of the recommendations committee left for the USA.
Former chief justice Om Prakash Mishra has left for the US to meet family there. Members of the recommendations committee are confused about their next move in the absence of their head.
Mishra is expected to remain in America for at least a month. “He was also complaining about his health and left for the US this past week,” said Prem Bahadur Khadka, a member of the recommendations committee, adding, “It seems nothing will happen until he returns.”
Khadka is not sure when Mishra will be back.
Formed in April, the committee was entrusted with the responsibility of recommending the chiefs and members of the two TJ bodies – Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons. It is struggling to accomplish the given task.
Controversy arose after the committee proposed the names of probable candidates even before making the final recommendations. Many believe the initial recommendations were made through political intervention.
After working out the initial list of probable commissioners for the TJ bodies last month, the committee had vowed to recommend the final list at the earliest.
The committee, however, faced obstacles after ruling Nepal Communist Party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal came out in favor of appointing entirely new commissioners contrary to the committee’s preliminary recommendation to appoint former commissioners.
Pressure is mounting on the committee from national and international rights groups. Conflict victims have threatened non-cooperation in completing the TJ process if their demands for a consultative and transparent selection process and revision of the relevant laws as per international standards are not heeded.
The committee had proposed to re-appoint the entire board of the CIEDP. Former TRC commissioners Madhabi Bhatta, Shri Krishna Subedi and Manchala Jha were also proposed as new commissioner appointees.
Ganesh Datta Bhatta, an assistant lecturer at Nepal Law Campus, was proposed as head of the TRC.