| November 28, 2020

TRC probes will take intn'l law into consideration: Gurung

KATHMANDU, June 18:Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Chairman Surya Kiran Gurung has said that the commission will take international law into consideration while investigating conflict-era cases.

Speaking at an interaction program organized by the Social Justice and Human Rights Committee of Parliament on Friday, Chairman Gurung said that the core values of international law should not be ignored during the investigation of cases from the conflict era.

"A situation might arise tomorrow when our leaders cannot visit foreign countries freely if conflict-era cases are internationalized by the victims," he said.
Referring to the nine-point agreement reached between ruling parties CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) on amending laws concerning transitional justice, Gurung said that the commission is guided by law and regulations and is not swayed by any political agreement.

Discussing the practice of transitional justice  in Nepal and its challenges, Chairman of the Commission for Investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), Lokendra Mallick, claimed that the commission will try to complete all the investigations in the remaining eight months before the deadline set for the commission by law.

"If we fail to complete the task, we will obviously ask for an extension of the deadline by one year in line with the legal provision for this," said Mallick.

Human rights activist and advocate Gobinda Sharma Bandi said that the ongoing discourse on transitional justice in Nepal is itself problematic.

"The transitional justice mechanism should find out the root causes of the conflict as well as the nature of the human rights violations, but we are focusing only on identifying the victims and perpetrators and prosecuting the perpetrators," said Bandi.

He said that the CIEDP and TRC Act has some ambiguous, vague and incomplete provisions and these should be amended in line with Supreme Court verdicts in conflict-era cases.

"The question of transparency in the formation of the commissions is itself a challenge and the commissions suffer from a trust deficit," said Bandi.

He also said that the absence of law criminalizing torture and enforced disappearance as well as the statute of limitations in rape cases are challenges ahead for the transitional justice mechanisms.