The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made its first successful move to win the trust of conflict victims by ensuring their participation in the remaining tasks of the commission.
In a meeting with the Conflict Victims’ Common Platform (CVCP) on Sunday, the commission assured of collaboration with victims’ representatives in collecting testimonies, formulating reparation policy and preparing commission’s report to be submitted to the government.
“We hope the commission keeps it promises,” said Suman Adhikari, CVCP chairperson. “Our support to the commission depends on its performance.”
The victims were unhappy about their exclusion in the entire transitional justice process despite the Supreme Court’s order. Some civil society organisations had asked the victims’ community to boycott the process. However, the victims, who formed the CVCP comprising victims who suffered at the hands of state and rebels, adopted a “critical engagement” approach to engage with the commission.
“We have taken the commission’s move as an acknowledgement of our approach
of critical engagement, which is a role of monitoring the work of the commission,” said Ram Bhandari, CVCP general secretary. “Focus on the need of conflict victims should be priority in formulation of reparation policy. We hope to work with the commission up to the implementation level.”
The commission’s move comes 14 months after its formation aiming to ensure victims’ participation in the transitional justice process to make it credible and success.
The commission expedited its effort to reach out to the conflict victims after the government formalised its regulation last week, which allowed the commission to start its task formally.
“It has been our position all along,” said Surya Kiran Gurung, TRC chairperson. “We are looking forward to draft policy on reparation.”
The commission has announced to collect complaints from the victims through Local Peace Committees (LPCs) from mid-April and it has been consulting with the victims to set up an oversight mechanism to avoid possible interferences from the power centres. The victims have said that an all-party-mechanism cannot be trusted.
After the meeting with the commission, the CVCP has decided to mobilise focal persons and coordinators at all districts and regional offices. The CVCP has 17 organisations and networks in 73 districts.