EDITORIAL: Justice delayed

It would be in the interest of all to resolve the present state of affairs and make Nepal a prosperous and peaceful country where there is justice for all

Even though ten years have elapsed since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) successive governments have failed in the bid to deliver the human rights promises they had made.

The accord signed on November 21, 2006 had succeeded in ending the decade-old conflict and brave promises had been made which sadly have yet to be implemented. More than 13,000 lives were lost in the insurgency.

Both the government and Maoists stand accused of committing human rights violations, many of them of a serious nature including enforced disappearances, torture, extra-judicial killings and sexual abuses.

Although the ceasefire had been achieved, in its aftermath the promises made such as accountability for the violations and disappearances were not owned up by the guilty parties.

Incidentally, all the major political parties have had their turn in leading the government in the last decade but they were unable to provide the justice to those who suffered then.

Under the peace deal of 2006 the political parties had formed an alliance together with the Maoists affirming commitment to human rights and also democracy.

Unfortunately, it is taking a long time to fulfill the pledges and justice has yet to be provided to many of the conflict victims.

The peace accord has given priority to investigate and bring to justice the wrongdoers responsible for their crimes during the war.

Yet this provision has not been implemented leading to frustration particularly to the victims and their families who are waiting in vain as it appears the political parties and the Maoists have backed down on their pledges.

Some measures to address this delay in delivering justice was made in 2015 with the establishment of a truth-seeking commission and also a disappearance commission.

However, these commissions have been slow in taking action as a result of which the culprits are still at large seeming to enjoy political protection despite the serious crimes that they have committed.

It appears that the legislation of the commissions are faulty mainly because it has provisions for amnesty for some various crimes even when they cannot be pardoned given the serious nature of the violations.

The amnesty facilitates those responsible to get away with their despicable crimes which is indeed a grave injustice. This amnesty must be done away with. In fact it is ridiculous for it allows the culprits to escape.

The New-York based Human Rights Watch had come up with the findings Saturday which should ring the alarm bells.

It has also noted that the promises made to get rid of discrimination based on gender, caste, class, ethnicity are rampant and the concerned have done very little about bringing to book those responsible for these.

Given that the country is largely peaceful now, we should not forget to bolster the stagnating economy of the country which should have been done after reaching the historic peace accord.

All out efforts should be made to ameliorate the living standard of the Nepalese people most of whom live of depravity.

It would be in the interest of all to resolve the present state of affairs and make Nepal a prosperous and peaceful country where there is justice for all.

Health directives

The Ministry of Health has issued directives to all the hospitals across the country to allocate 10 percent of the total beds for free to the disadvantaged, helpless and unclaimed patients.

There is a clear provision in the existing health policy that all the hospitals, including privately-run ones, are required to allocate 10 percent of the total beds to these people who cannot afford to bear the medical expenses on their own.

The hospitals are also required to submit a monthly report to the ministry through its agencies about the progress made in this regard.

The directives came into force in 2014 but they have yet to be implemented, especially in private hospitals that refuse to abide by the rules using loopholes.

Even the government hospitals’ administrations are also reluctant to provide health care services to the disadvantaged, helpless and unclaimed patients.

Unless the hospital administrations work sincerely making the directives work will be an uphill task. Issuing directives is not enough; the ministry must develop a mechanism ensuring that they have been put into practice.