Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 28:

Skewed land ownership pattern and problems associated with unequal access to land is one of the major causes of the ongoing conflict, experts said. “The root cause of human rights violation is the problem concerning land ownership,” said Jagat Basnet, representative of Community Self Reliance Centre at a programme titled ‘Existing armed conflict and land management’ organised by the Informal Service Sector Centre here today. Dalits, women, and ethnic minorities are deprived of land ownership and the ongoing conflict, according to him, is an outcome of the denial of access to land resource.

Likewise, Umesh Upadhyaya, representative of GFONT said that landlessness has added fuel to the armed conflict. According to him, 24 per cent of the population are landless. “Exploitative rural labour relation is based on feudal nature of society and bondage and there is no political commitment in overall land reform scenario,” he said. Weak implementation of laws and plans, poor enforcement mechanism and negligence by government and political parties are hindering equal access to resources. He urged authorities concerned to form a concrete land-use policy, registration of landless and marginal rural families and redistribution of land with “twin approach of productivity, investment and fair distribution” amongst others. “Social assistance and social protection system for farm households covering both self- employed and wage-employed working masses with full involvement of local bodies,” according to him, “is the need of the hour.”