Conflict victims have expressed displeasure over the government’s decision to form a committee to recommend new members of the two transitional justice mechanisms without holding any consultations with them.
According to a Cabinet source” A meeting of the Cabinet last Monday had decided to form the committee led by former Supreme Court chief justice Om Prakash Mishra”.
Tenure of members of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons expires on April 13. TRC Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung and member Lila Udasi Khanal have already tendered their resignation.
However, the victims said the government once again ignored them while taking such a crucial decision. The victims have long been complaining that the government does not hold consultations with them while drafting/amending laws or taking crucial decisions related to transitional justice.
Former chairman of Conflict Victims Common Platform Suman Adhikari said the existing transitional justice mechanism could never win the victims’ faith just because the government did not bother to consult the victims while forming them.
He said the government should have taken the victims on board from the beginning of the process of appointing new members if it really wanted to make the commissions trustworthy. “But the government repeated the same mistake,” said Adhikari. “We had expected that the government would consult us, but we were deceived once again.”
Adhikari also added that the government should now immediately begin the process of Transitional Justice Act amendment simultaneously with the process of appointment of commission member. “We will strongly oppose if the government appoints members without amending the act,” he said.
The government has been maintaining that the act will be amended to address its shortcomings on the basis of six factors — the Comprehensive Peace Accord; Nepal’s national and international obligations related to human rights; fundamental principles of the transitional justice; decisions and orders of the Supreme Court; sentiments of conflict victims; and Nepal’s legal and political processes.
The TRC and the CIEDP, which were formed in February 2015, have collected more than 65,000 complaints, but they have failed to make substantial progress, thanks to the lack of necessary legislation, crunch of human and financial resources and their internal weaknesses.
The two commissions have long been saying they can function well only Transitional Justice Act is amended in line with the Supreme Court orders and they are ensured adequate budget and human resources.