Spokesperson for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Madhavi Bhatta has accused the government of non-cooperation in the TRC’s efforts to proceed with its works.
Commissioner Bhatta also warned that the TRC would internationalise cases of rights violations if there was no environment for the commission to perform its mandated activities.
Bhatta argued that violators of human rights cannot be let off the hook on any condition. “Col Kumar Lama was arrested in the UK and if our commission is unable to work, many political leaders and officials can have his fate,” she said at an interaction in Dhulikhel on Thursday. “If the government and the parties do not cooperate with us, we will internationalise the issues.”
Nine months after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, the government formed the commission last year assigning it to look into the incidents of rights violation during the decade-long insurgency. The agreement had envisaged the commission to be formed within six months of its signing to take up war-era cases.
The commission cannot even collect applications from conflict victims as the government has not approved its regulations. The TRC had forwarded the draft regulations to the government five months ago. Bhatta warned of foreign interference into the transitional justice process if the commission was prevented from functioning properly. Then the commission would be compelled to ask the United Nations for help, which could give rise to international interest and meddling in Nepal’s affairs.
She said the rebel party was equally unhelpful in the process. “Asked for details on the organisational structure of both the parties, the then rebel Maoists have not answered us yet while the reply of the security forces is far from satisfactory,” said Bhatta. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has written to the government bodies and the former rebel party asking for their policies and strategies developed at different stages of the conflict.
In December, the TRC had sought warfare dossiers from Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, National Investigation Department, Home Ministry, Security Council, Defence Ministry and former rebel party UCPN (Maoist).
The commission demanded their war policies and strategies for policy review, which is crucial for establishing the organisational or individual connection with the insurgency-era incidents.
At least 16,000 people were killed, 1,300 disappeared, 80,000 displaced and hundreds tortured during the Maoist People’s War.