Rights activists' silence on Maoists riles PM

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today blamed human rights activists for not raising their voice against rights violations committed by the Unified CPN-Maoist.

Addressing a programme organised to launch human rights yearbook 2010 by the Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), the PM said rights violators are moving about freely. He added that the government is committed to ensuring human rights. He claimed that cases of disappearance, torture and killing of people have subsided recently.

Further, urging people to cooperate in establishing rule of law in the country, the PM said, "The state is providing compensation to the victims and punishing the culprits."

Claiming that the government was working to end every type of violence against women, he assured that the government is serious towards ending impunity and establishing peace and security.

According to the yearbook, 4,946 incidents of human rights violation have been recorded in the year. It also revealed that the state was involved in killing 41 people among the 473 killing incidents in the country.

Gauri Pradhan, commissioner of National Human Rights Commission, asked the government to punish the culprits according to their recommendations. Pradhan expressed satisfaction on the allocation of budget for compensation to victims. He, however, urged all concerned, especially the political parties, to be committed to human rights.

Meanwhile, Dharmendra Jha, president, Federation of Nepalese Journalists, said, the government should be held accountable for the increasing impunity in the society. Jha also alleged that the laws of the country were not being implemented effectively. He further demanded the government look into pending cases of human rights violations. He also asked the government to be committed to press freedom.