TRC holds meet in absence of chair

Kathmandu, March 22

Ending over one-and-a-half months’ deadlock, office bearers of Truth and Reconciliation Commission held a meeting today.

The meeting presided over by the TRC’s senior member Leela Udasi endorsed a work plan, pledging to commence preliminary investigation into insurgency-era rights violations complaints from mid-April, according to TRC member Madhabi Bhatta.

Office bearers of the transitional justice body had not met since February 2, mainly due to long absence of its Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung, who has not reported to work since February 12.

Due to his continued absence, Udasi called today’s meeting, where all other members— Bhatta, Sri Krishna Subedi and Manchala Jha — were present.

Chairman Gurung couldn’t be reached for comments.

This was also the first meeting of the TRC since extension of its mandate for additional one year on February 10. The meeting decided to come up with working procedures and implementation guidelines required for preliminary investigation into war-era complaints by mid-April.

At least 58,052 complaints of human rights violation allegedly committed during the decade-long Maoist insurgency — from February 1996 to November 2006 — have been registered at the TRC.

TRC members met after conflict-victims gave the TRC deadline to come up with a concrete work plan and begin probe into complaints by March 22.

Last week, the victims had even asked TRC office bearers to resign if they couldn’t perform their duty properly.

Suman Adhikari, chairman of Conflict Victims Common Platform, said the TRC’s pledge was a positive step, but demanded that the implementation plan be drafted immediately.

“We urge the TRC not to take time until mid-April to prepare working procedures and implementation guidelines and start investigation into the complaints immediately,” he told this daily. “As we have very limited time and many tasks to accomplish, these works should be done immediately.”