KATHMANDU: Top leaders of the three major parties – Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML – today agreed to constitute an Integrated Reconciliatory Commission to address rights violations by the state and the Maoists during the decade-long insurgency.
The constitutional provision, however, is that Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission of Inquiry on Disappearances will be formed to address the issues related to human rights violations and cases of forced-disappearances. “We have agreed to form Integrated Reconciliatory Commission to address the rights violations committed during the Maoist insurgency,” said NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, who also attended the three-party meeting discussing TRC and CID.
Emerging from the meeting, UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal said there was no need to amend the Interim Constitution to constitute an integrated commission on rights violation and cases of forced-disappearances. The parties had earlier agreed to form both the commissions and the government had registered two separate draft bills at the Parliament secretariat.
Members of the sub-committee formed by the parliamentary Statutory Committee, which settled most of the disputed issues on forced-disappearances and TRC, were also invited to the meeting, which settled some of the controversial issues. Though there was no problem on addressing the cases of forced-disappearances, some issues related to TRC demanded final decision at political-level.
The parliamentary Statutory Sub-Committee had identified five broad areas of granting general amnesty, repentance, reparation, compensation and taking punitive action while dealing with the rights violations during the conflict.
Yashoda Subedi Gurung, chairperson, parliamentary Statutory Committee, said the government would withdraw the already-registered Bills on TRC and CID and would replace them with an integrated Bill to form only one commission.
Sapana Pradhan Malla, a UML lawmaker, who is a member of the parliamentary Statutory Sub-Committee, expressed resentment over the parties’ decision to form an integrated commission, which, she said, intended to be more of a reconciliatory.
“The integrated commission intends to compel the conflict victims for reconciliation and discourage them from seeking punitive action against those involved in serious human rights violation,” said Malla, who also attended the three-party meeting.
Previous TRC Bill had intended to grant pardon only if a victim wanted to reconcile with a perpetrator; the TRC could also refer to punitive action against the rights violator if the latter was found to have committed any one of the heinous crimes — forced-disappearance of a person, rape, murder in captivity, torture in captivity and arson.
“These are the five areas where general amnesty cannot be given to a perpetrator,” Malla said.