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News Analysis: Settlement of war-era cases an uphill task for Nepal's political parties

English.news.cn   2014-01-06 18:18:19            

KATHMANDU, Jan. 6 (Xinhua)-- After Nepal's Supreme Court handed its ruling on the cases that happened during the insurgency period last week, the settlement of these cases has emerged as the most contentious issue that the country's political parties must tackle.

In its landmark verdict, Nepal's Supreme Court has directed the government to form separate commissions for the inquiry on truth and reconciliation and cases on disappearances during the insurgency period.

The high court's ruling requires the government to call for a dialogue among major political parties to prepare a new plan but this would pose a problem since the parties are divided over several issues.

The court also said that both commissions should be patterned after they accepted international standards and that there should be no provision for clemency on cases related to grave human rights violations such as disappearances and rapes committed by both Maoist party and state agencies during the insurgency period.

Earlier, parties had prepared a single bill for both truth and reconciliation and disappearances, saying that both issues are related. In the previous bill, parties also included the provision of amnesty to some human rights violations saying that a conciliatory approach should be adopted to achieve durable peace in the country.

If the provision of amnesty is removed from the bill, leaders fear that they will be dragged to court, because most of the alleged human rights violations were committed based on political decrees.

Thousands of cases of human rights violations committed during the 10-year long insurgency launched by UCPN (Maoist) and state agencies have been reported.

In its order, Nepal's Supreme Court noted that there can be no general amnesty for serious crimes but parties want the amnesty provision because some current leaders themselves have been accused of involvement in war-era cases.

The court suggested the government prepare a fixed criterion about the provision of war-era human rights violation. The court said that earlier ordinance prepared by Maoist-led government in 2012 had failed to consider enforced disappearances as criminal acts. "This historic decision has vindicated our position that there should be a separate commission for enforced disappearances,"said petitioner Ram Bhandari.

The formation of such commission has been part of a cross-party agreement among the political parties since 2006. On Dec. 24 last year, four political parties agreed to settle this dispute as soon as possible.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the then warring party UCPN (Maoist) and government in 2005 also called for the creation of such a commission but successive governments have failed to form such body.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), an apex human rights body of the country, has time and again asked the head of the government to probe the war-era cases.

Editor: Yang Yi
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