New statute will usher in new era, says PM Koirala

Kathmandu, May 26:

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala said today that the new constitution to be promulgated by the Constituent Assembly will usher the country in a new era.

“The new constitution will respect the wishes of the people and will be respected in turn,” Koirala said, addressing a programme organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to mark its eighth anniversary. Democracy and human rights go together, he said, urging eve-ryone to help draft a new democratic constitution. Nobody loses in a democracy, the PM said, adding, “Though some MPs were defeated in the CA polls, they will also help draft a new constitution from their respective spheres.”

“I have spent almost 60 years fighting for the sake of democracy and the protection of human rights, but many of my questions remain unanswered,” he said. Lauding the role played by free press and independent judiciary in the institutionalisation of democracy in the country, the PM said a mechanism of checks and balances is also crucial for a democracy. Koirala said the fourth estate had been keeping all organs of the state in check and disseminating information.

Chairman of the NHRC Kedar Nath Upadhayaya urged the government not to let the guilty escape punishment just because they were associated with certain parties or were close to the corridors of power.

Richard Bennett, chief of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, said provisions to safeguard human rights should be incorporated in the new constitution.

Gauri Pradhan, a member of the NHRC, said government authorities were not serious about protecting rights of the people.