Let’s have a look

Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang on Tuesday directed the government to make the Rayamajhi report public “immediately”. The High Level Investigation Commission, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Krishna Jung Rayamajhi, had submitted its report seven months ago, indicting 202 persons, including ministers of the King-headed cabinet, for their role in trying to suppress Jana Andolan-2. But the Speaker’s rulings have been conveniently ignored in our parliamentary history. There is no guarantee that Prime Minister G P Koirala will abide by it. Besides, Nembang’s ruling came after a one-day ultimatum from Janamorcha Nepal MP Lilamani Pokhrel. If the report had to be kept from the sovereign people, who catapulted Koirala and others to power, why was the inquiry ordered in the first place? Such a long slumber on the report is an insult to the people. To make the matter even more galling, the government even retained and promoted some of the people indicted in the report, including the ones in the army.

Heavy public and political pressure has built up for action against the guilty. Rayamajhi himself has openly taken this line. But if the past is any guide, commission reports are hardly implemented in Nepal. They are formed to meet the exigencies of time, and when reports are submitted, it takes a long time and heavy public pressure to force the government to make them public, let alone implement their recommendations. The Mallik Commission report, the post-Jana Andolan-1 counterpart of the Rayamajhi report, was finally made public. But it was not of much use, as many of those found guilty ended up occupying even more responsible positions in government and the security forces. The fate of the Rayamajhi report seems to be going the way of the Mallik report. The government even lied to the Supreme Court, more than three months ago, in responding to the SC notice on a PIL that it would make public and implement the report at an “appropriate” time?

Political leaders later admitted why they had trashed the Mallik report — because they had made a secret deal with the then King not to implement it. But what compulsions do the political parties, particularly the PM, face in not doing so now? They can have no excuses now — the people had made the movement successful beyond the politicians’ wildest dreams last April. They cannot escape by saying that they had understanding or deals with the palace or certain other forces. The people had not given them the mandate to that effect. The politicians now in power should self-introspect where they would be now without April uprising. The Nepal Law Commission has drafted a Bill to replace the existing Inquiry Commission Act 1968 to compel the government to make public and carry out commission reports in the future. But the formation of any commission, particularly of the nature of the post-Jana Andolan inquiry commission, implies that its recommendations will be headed for implementation or logical follow-up action. Stronger public pressure is required to make the Koirala government see reason.