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June 14, 2024, Friday
२०८१ असार २

Challenges in peace and Democracy  

२०८१ जेष्ठ ७
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  • Hom Prasad Lamsal

If human rights regularly and not end a growing state of impunity which may not ensure victims’ access to justice, human rights protection, rule of law, and democracy shall be limited only in the speech.

In the report In Larger Freedom of former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, most of half of the nations born after war returned to conflict again in five years. Wishing not bearing such a situation in Nepal also, it has been mentioned in Nepal’s Human Development Report to fill the wounds of victims through mediation, justice and reparation. At a time when Nepal’s peace process has been completing five years, the provocation has been promoted despite transformation. Not implementing the previous consensus and turning the Maoists more oppressive has given that signal. The culture of impunity is the major reason of the present political crisis as various mechanisms, thoughts, and behaviors have been promoting it.

The criminalization in politics and the leadership’s lack of commitment for human rights is also the main reasons of the state of impunity. National Human Rights Commission, Nepal-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and other human rights organizations have archived the extra-judicial killings. Why the state has not been investing the incidents of extra-judicial killings? Its analysis should be done in a perfect manner. The conflict seen in various districts including Tarai has also been associated to the state of impunity.

Even though there was a change in 2046 BS (1989 AD) but police was the same and administration was the same. The mentality of the other state organs was the same and the judicial system was the same. Without having a general discussion on such matters, efforts were made to implement the new change in the society.  There was a good chance in bringing reform in the judicial system after 1989 but it was missed just for a vested interest. The Rayamajhi Commission following the second people’s movement was also dumped in the same manner. Further matter of worry is that major political forces of the second people’s movement, Unified CPN Maoist’s Chairman made a request to the then main human rights violator Dr Tulsi Giri, who had been identified as the main suppressor of human rights violation, for reaching to the power made it wonderful how the politics of the country is and made a mockery of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Following that no action has been taken against any of the human rights violators. Even it was the extra-judicial killing at the time of Kilo Sera Two of the then government, rape and torture, or another kind of suppression in the Doramba incident in the name of controlling terrorism or the action taken by the Maoists in the name of spy. Still the indicted security personnel, Maoists and officials of the royal regime are so blissful over the incident. If the same mistake again, the seed for another conflict shall be started from the same point. Getting impunity from the politicization of crime and protecting the criminals under the veil of politics have been promoting state of impunity. The chiefs of security forces have made public statement that the political protection to criminals have created a serious challenge in the law and order situation.

In order to minimize the state of impunity, there might be a good way to set up a separate mechanism, the transitional justice mechanism. When a country faces an autocratic regime or in an internal conflict, there might be a serious violation of human rights. The experience across the globe has shown this example. The beginning of transitional justice concept was began just after the second world war where the massacre by Nazis and setting up the commissions to find out the truth from the military court. However, the forms of transitional mechanisms exercised in countries including South Africa, Guatemala and Peru are in discussion in the recent time. The success of South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission is also praiseworthy.

When the transitional justice mechanism in Guatemala could not become effective for investigating 36-year conflict and could not provide justice to the victim party by proper investigation therefore those military officials who had serious hand in the violation of human rights were able to get elected in the election from various political parties. In 1954, the CIA, spying organization of the United States of America had provoked the military to take over the power by dismissing democratically elected president of Guatemala Jacob Arange. The leftist parties however had begun their movement against the military rule since 1960. Immediately after which the government began various actions. But those minorities living in remote village become the victim of the same. There was a serious problem of murder, enforce disappearance and displacement. With the mediation of the United Nations, signing on the peace accord by the government and the rebellion force, a civilian government was formed in 1990. As per the peace accord signed in Oslo, a historic probe committee was formed. The three major responsibilities were given to that commission—to find out the truth by investigating all about the violation of human rights at the time of conflict, to investigate whether the internal or the external matters caused for the conflict, and to protect the feelings of the victims and to give suggestions for making efforts on national peace. Responsibility was given to the commission to investigate the human rights violation from 1962 to 1996. However, the power to the commission was not given to identify the perpetrator and the violator and the recommending power as well. The commission made the recommendation that around two hundred thousand peoples were either enforced disappeared or killed and 93 per cent of military personnel were involved in the crime. Even though the names of the perpetrators were published but no action was taken against anyone because the commission did not have legal authority. Again another National Reconciliation Law was enacted in 1996 which had the main objectives to reinstate the rebellion army and to grant general amnesties to the rebellion.

The transformation of conflict was made through reconciliation and there was no situation of winning or losing at that time. The transformation of the conflict was not made with the revolution or major people’s movement therefore there was an arrangement made to grant amnesty to all the perpetrators of the both parties. Therefore still there is a saying that Guatemala is still facing result of the same. Those who used to speak against the suppression of the state have forcefully become silent, activists who have been working in favor of justice, political leaders, victims and witnesses are still becoming the victim of the state suppression. Known as the major violator of human rights General Royes Mont, he again reemerged in the new regime. The incidents and the matters relating to the general amnesties have still been under the trial in the commission formed in the regional level and the court.

If we view in this way, the peace process could not get logical conclusion without the Truth Commission. Along with the formation of democratic government, to find out the truth on the incidents occurred in the past and to give justice to the victim, there is a trend to set up Truth and Reconciliation Commission everywhere. The power to find out the political, social, economic and cultural aspects and to analyze and to investigate the crime committed and to assist the state was given to the commission in Peru. To fine out the reality of the victims, to identify the perpetrators, to provide recommendations on respectful compensation to them, recommend on institutional legal reform and to set up institutional requirements on the implementation of the recommendation were given jurisdiction to the commission. Since a widen jurisdiction was given, the commission could become more effective in comparison to the commission of the other countries. There was serious pressure to the government to recognize the recommendations. As a result, the government has still been implementing some of the recommendations given. Moreover, fine for indicted of some cases and compensation to some victims have also been determined therefore the bill on Truth and Reconciliation Commission which has already been reached in our parliament requires for giving completeness according to the experiences of various countries.

Every citizen has the right to get justice therefore state should ensure it. The present legal mechanism is not able to investigate into the crimes relating to human rights violation, making the perpetrators accountable and providing justice to the victims as well. Without reaching the human rights violation activities occurred in the past to logical conclusion, the democratic system of governance cannot be imagined. Therefore a strong mechanism if required for investigating into the past atrocities, to find out the truth, to provide adequate legal remedy to the victims on the basis of the quantum of crime and making the perpetrators accountable which is also the ultimate basic requirement of democracy. The geographical situation of every country might be different therefore the exercise of other country cannot be copied in a naked because our nature of resolving the conflict is different. In regard to the human rights our experiences are different but we can learn somehow from the other countries’ justice mechanism process, which makes our efforts more systematic and more effective.

If violated human rights regularly and not ending growing state of impunity which may not ensure the victims’ access to justice, human rights protection, rule of law and democracy shall be limited only in the speech. This has been justified with the latest figure of the National Human Rights Commission. Not seen the possibility of the formation of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was supposed to form immediately after the elections to the Constituent Assembly shows that there might not be getting easy way of the peace process which is the challenges of the current time.

2016 from the profile Karobar National Dally