Commission on missing persons in limbo:Panel to name members fails to hold its meeting

Kathmandu, March 17:

Though it has already been a month that the government formed a committee to recommend names for the commission on missing people, the committee has not been able to hold even its first meeting.

The delay in recommending names has severely affected the formation of the much-awaited commission.

An ordinance, recently promulgated by the government, has stated that the government could form a high-level independent commission — to probe into the cases of people missing during the decade-long armed conflict — by publishing a notice in Nepal Gazette. Ignoring criticism and protest from coalition partners and the opposition parties, the government had promulgated the ordinance on February 10.

Padamlal Bishwokarma, chairperson of the International Relations and Human Rights Committee of legislature-parliament, was appointed the head of the committee. When asked when the first meeting would convene, Bishwokarma, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of recommending names for the five-member commission, did not have any answer. “Bandh and different forms of protest are the key reasons behind it,” he said. Bishwokarma also revealed that the proposed meet was deferred many times due to unfavourable political circumstances.

“The committee has not been able to collect and discuss the names of possible candidates for the commission, as it has not been able to hold any meeting,” he said.