Govt ignoring Karnali region: Experts

Kathmandu, January 7:

Human rights activists today accused the government of deliberately delaying the development of the Karnali region.

People of the region have been deprived of development and basic human rights, they said.

Just like right to life, people have the right to development, human rights activist Charan Prasai said. “Since the Panchayat days, the state has been neglecting the Karnali region,” he said, adding: “Fearing that development will raise awareness among the people, it has not even built roads.”

“Equal participation of people from across the country, including the Karnali region, should be encouraged,” he said at a programme titled ‘Human rights, political justice and equality’ in the Karnali region.

The Karnali Development and Research Centre had organised the programme.

He criticised the government for not building roads in the region in the name of attracting tourists through natural trekking trails. “Revenue generated through tourism in the region goes to the centre while the region continues to sink deeper into under-development,” he said.

Dhruv Nepal, director of the National Human Rights Commission, also expressed concern over under-development of the Karnali region.

Spelling out the need for the government to embrace decentralisation of power, he said the NHRC has also opened its branch in the Karnali region. The locals of the region can file cases of human rights violations in the local office of the NHRC, he said.