THT 10 YEARS AGO: OHCHR frets about lack of trust among parties

Kathmandu, June 22, 2007

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Nepal today said a major challenge facing the peace process is the “dangerous lack of trust” between the political parties, between marginalised groups and different groups in society.

Lack of trust or mutual distrust among the political parties, the OHCHR said, will make it difficult for them to come together and take “difficult, but necessary” decisions in the process leading up to the constituent assembly election. It suggested a “constant” dialogue and “sincere and concrete action” to end the same.

The OHCHR also raised concern about the “continued intimidation and violence” perpetrated by armed groups in the Tarai and disruption of political parties’ activities by the CPN-Maoist. “If not addressed, this could worsen as political activities will intensify in the run up to the polls,” OHCHR Representative in Nepal Lena Sundh told a press conference here.

“It is clear today that consolidating the gains of the peace process will depend to a large extent on how Nepal’s political leaders and its many different traditionally marginalised groups are able to resolve legitimate claims to fair representation and participation in the State,” she said.

She said traditionally marginalised groups must also commit themselves to peaceful means of advocacy and protest.

Kamana House work disrupted again

Kathmandu, June 22, 2007

Work in the offices of Kamana Publication House (KPH) was disrupted today due to protests by Maoist-affiliated employees.

The disruption, thus, ruled out resumption of the publication of two national dailies — Nepal Samacharpatra and Mahanagar Dainik — from tomorrow.

Chairman of the Press Council of Nepal, Rajendra Dahal, and chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Bishnu Nishthuri visited KPH today.

A meeting was held between representatives of KPH and those from the Maoists-affiliated All Nepal National Trade Union Federation (Revolutionary) to sort out the problem. “The trade union said that it did not intend to stop publication, but only to have a trade union formed,” said a KPH employee. The trade union activists have agreed to continue the talks tomorrow. Executive chairman of KPH Pushkar Lal Shrestha said the resumption of the publication will now take some more time.

Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara said the problem should be resolved through dialogue.

Prominent journalists today described the obstruction in the publication house as a mockery of democracy. They said that the obstruction was objectionable and an attack on press freedom.