TRC chair threatens to quit

Kathmandu, November 23

Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Surya Kiran Gurung has threatened to quit his post if the government fails to make congenial environment for the TRC to function.

In a recent meeting with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, TRC Chairman Gurung said he would step down from his post if the government couldn’t disburse the adequate financial and human resources and bring necessary laws to discharges its functions.

Talking to THT, Gurung confirmed that he had shared his discontent with the PM that the lack of budget, staff crunch and delay in changing TRC Act was hampering TRC functioning. “I didn’t assume the role of TRC head just to earn money and get perks and benefits,” he told THT. “I want to contribute something to the transitional justice process.”

He said TRC had written to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction to amend its existing act by December 15 to make it compatible with the Supreme Court’s verdict and the international norms and principles.

However, the government is yet to finalise the draft of the amendment bill and table it in the Parliament. “Complaints of victims have been piled up. The tenure of TRC will expire in February,” Gurung said. “We couldn’t do much in absence of required laws and resources.”

Gurung said the prime minister assured him that the government would do the needful to create a congenial environment for TRC’s functioning and urged him not to take any decision in haste. “I hope that the needful support and environment be created on the part of government soon,” he added.

The prime minister, however, complained of non-cooperation by other ruling parties and the bureaucracy to help expedite the transitional justice process, including changing the TRC Act, a source revealed.

Charan Prasai, Coordinator of Accountability Watch Committee, who was present during the meeting, said the transitional justice body had become virtually dysfunctional and it wouldn’t be able to resolve the conflict-era rights violations cases if it was barred from doing its tasks independently.

The TRC was set up on 10 February 2015 with two-year mandate of investigating Maoist insurgency-era rights violation cases and recommend action against the perpetrators and reparation for the victims.

As many as 57,753 war-era rights violations cases have been registered at the transitional justice body.