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Conflict victims warn TRC of zero support

Conflict Victims’ Common Platform, an alliance of 13 organisations representing the victims of the decade-long insurgency, has warned the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of non-cooperation if it fails to make any progress in streamlining its legal framework and start work.

In a meeting with the TRC on Tuesday, the Platform representatives criticised the commission for failing to initiate the process within a year. “The commission neither initiated the victim-centric process nor won the confidence of the victims in its one-year tenure,” said the Platform in a statement. “The commission failed to give the victims hope for justice.”

The government had formed the commission to look into conflict-era cases. However, it has not even endorsed the TRC regulation. According to the commission, it forwarded the draft regulation to the government six months ago.

In the lack of regulations, the commission has not been able to work fully. However,

it has been interacting with the conflict victims and civil society members in

various districts. The commission has already reached over 50 districts.

The Platform has accused some commissioners of misbehaving with the victims in various districts. “Instead of listening to the victims’ concerns and creating an environment for collaboration with victims’ community, some commissioners’ misconduct has hurt the victims. We strongly denounce such conduct of the commissioners,” said the Platform.

The victims, who suffered at the hand of rebels and the state, had formed the Platform to voice their concerns through a common forum. The body had initially objected to the formation of the commission citing their exclusion from the entire process. However, it decided to “critically engage” with the commissions to resolve the long-standing issue of transitional justice.

The Platform has urged the commission to make amendments to the Transitional Justice Act in line with the Supreme Court verdict, which would be a step to win the confidence of the victims’ community. “Since the commission has not moved the process any further, conflict victims are gradually losing their faith in it,” read the statement.

They asked the commission to set up a mechanism to reach out to remote parts of the country and incorporate suggestions of the victims while setting criteria for compensation and reparation.

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