Resolve transitional justice issues politically, say stakeholders

Kathmandu, May 2

Participants of a discussion programme today opined that issues related to transitional justice should be resolved politically.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang said, “All issues of transitional justice should be addressed politically. However, in doing so we must not undermine international standards and ensure justice to the victims.”

The government had formed Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons to investigate into cases of grave human rights violation during the armed conflict. The bodies are also responsible for recommending legal action against the perpetrators and reparation for the victims.

Twelve years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, only around 500 of the above 60,000 reported cases of human rights violation have been resolved, according to CIEDP officials.

TRC member Madhavi Bhatta said, “The commission is plagued by employees with vested political interests. So, TRC alone should not be blamed. I think political leadership is equally responsible for resolving the cases.”

Similarly, National Human Right Commission Chair Anup Raj Sharma said, “Since CIEDP and TRC were formed on the basis of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, most of the cases can be resolved politically. However, apart from taking initiatives for reconciliation between the victims and the perpetrators, it should not provide blanket amnesty to perpetrators of grave human rights violation.”

Advocates Dinesh Tripathi and Kalyan Pokharel stressed on taking action against the perpetrators and warned the government against granting blanket amnesty to perpetrators of grave human rights violation. Rights activists Subodh Raj Pyakurel and Kapil Shrestha said democracy would flourish only when the government protected the human rights of its citizens. Relatives of the conflict victims participating in the programme, criticised the government, TRC and CIEDP for failing to resolve conflict-era cases .