Govt scuttling unilateral truce: Rights activists

Rupandehi, September 24:

Human rights activists of Nepal have accused the government of not taking necessary measures to end the armed conflict of the Maoists in a peaceful manner. Speaking at the inauguration programme of the eighth National Council Meeting of the Human Rights and Peace Society organised in Butwal today, chairman of the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Subodh Raj Pyakurel said the government is conspiring to stymie the Maoists’ unilateral ceasefire. “The three-month Maoist truce should have been used as an opportunity for peaceful settlement between the warring parties. Instead, the government is sending plainclothes security personnel into villages to hinder the ceasefire,” Pyakurel said. “The King thinks the war can be won by the RNA, but this is not the way out of the problem.”

Expressing discontent that the Maoists were still pegging away at abductions, collecting donations and hindering the creation of a favourable environment for the displaced to return to their homes, Pyakurel appealed to the Maoists to be faithful to the code of conduct of the ceasefire. Presenting examples of the poor human rights situation in the country, Pyakurel stressed on the need for assessment of the country’s human right situation by the United Nations. Noted human rights activist and founding president of the Human Rights and Peace Society, Krishna Pahadi said that lasting peace in the country was not possible as long as monarchy remained in the country.

“The King wants power and that makes it impossible for restoration of lasting peace,” Pahadi

said, adding,”The King is strangling peace with his act of fondling the people.” Speaking on the occasion, chairman of Amnesty International Nepal, Pradeep Pokhrel said the present government is unpopular both at the national and international level. Secretary of the Nepal Professors’ Association Central Committee, Gopal Prasad Pandey, Central Member of Federation of Nepalese Journalists, Ramji Dahal; Lumbini Zonal Committee Member of

CPN-UML, Kamal Gautam; Uday Raj Kafle of NC; Prem Kharel of NC-D; Chairman of FNJ, Rupandehi, Dr Ghimire and Dal Bahadur Bhandari of PFN also aired their views on the human rights situation in the country. The programme, chaired by the society’s chairman Purushottam Dahal, kicked off with panchkanyas lighting candles. On the occasion, senior journalist Lekh Nath Gyanwali and women’s rights activist Sita Laxmi Neupane were feted.