Envoy’s recall inappropriate: Shrestha

Kathmandu, May 12

UCPN-Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha today said the government’s decision to recall the ambassador to India was not only an inappropriate but also immature.

During a meeting with some media persons at his Harisiddhi residence in Lalitpur this afternoon, the former deputy prime minister and foreign minister also criticised the cancellation of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s scheduled India visit at the eleventh hour.

The government had cancelled the president’s India visit and decided to recall Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay on May 6.

The president was supposed to embark for a five-day official visit to India from May 9.

He also expressed dismay at the government’s lack of commitment to finalise the outstanding issues of the peace process in the policy and the programme of the government which was announced by the president on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Shrestha, also a former minister for federal affairs and local development, said it would be inappropriate to hold local elections before December as such polls would be validated only for three months.

According to him, the commission for restructuring local bodies as per the new federal structures has already been set up and mandated to come up with a report by mid-April 2017.

Therefore, even if the election is held, it won’t remain legitimate after next April, he added.

He also emphasised the need to bring a new Act in relation to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission so as to enable the transitional justice body to investigate war-era cases that were finalised or subjudice at the regular courts.

According to the Supreme Court verdict, the TRC has been barred from investigating cases of human rights violation that occurred during the decade-long Maoist insurgency that are going through court proceedings and are subjudiced.

“The court is not God. It should give verdict in accordance with Nepali society, law and the spirit of the peace process,” Shrestha said.

UCPN-Maoist has been demanding that all insurgency era rights violation cases should be handled by the TRC and the Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons.