An Interaction Program on Comprehensive Peace Accord and Transitional Justice in Nepal

Context: 13 Years of Comprehensive Peace Accord

Organised By:

Peace Envisioners


And Conflict Victim Common Platform (CVCP)

Peace Envisioners, D-PLAN and Conflict Victim Common Platform (CVCP) had jointly organised an interaction Program on Comprehensive Peace Accord and Transitional Justice in Nepal on the occasion of completion of 13 Years of Comprehensive Peace Accord on 2st November 2019 in Malla Hotel Lainchaur Kathmandu. The interaction program was hosted by Maina Karki; the conflict victim in the chairman ship of Bhagiram Chaudhari who is also the chair of Conflict Victim Common Platform (CVCP).

Signatory of the CPA, Chair of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and ex- Prime Minister Pupsa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” was the chief Guest of the event, accompanied by Ex- prime Minister, Madhav Kumar Nepal, Krishna Prasad Sitaula; Leader of Nepali Congress, Ex Minister Matrika Prasad Koirala along with activist Lenin Bista. Human right Activist of Nepal, Civil Society Activist, Journalist, victim families and other figure working in the sector of the Transitional Justice were the participants the interaction Program.

The program was focused on the issues that has been encountered to resolve remaining issues of Peace Process during the long period of post conflict situation of Nepal. The main objective of the interaction was to seek the appropriate solution of by responding the remaining issues of Transitional Justice in Nepal through wider dialogue among the primary stakeholders of the conflict.

The interaction program was formally initiated with National Anthem followed by One-minute Mourning to remember the known and unknown Martyrs who lost their lives for the State and the political revolution.

Maina Karki started the interaction by reminding the Political Leadership about her husband who was killed during the conflict period and asked about the Justice that her husband was declared as the Martyr which was not sufficient justice for her and she is still been struggling for her livelihood issues after her husband’s death. Mrs Karki reminded that remaining issues of peace process will not be achieved unless the Government and the political parties assure the victim families with proper justice and reparation.

The program was further facilitated by Tika Dhakal and opened the floor for further interaction.

Bhagiram Chaudhari: Chair, Conflict Victim Common Platform

Bhagiram Chaudhari further put light upon the goal of the interaction program and asked the leadership about the further plan for resolving the issues of Transitional Justice through transparent and participatory mechanism that engages the victim families. The political leadership had a commitment of disclosing disappeared persons within 60 days and forming Reconciliation Commission within 6 months of CPA. He mentioned that the State has not been still able to fulfil the main spirit of CPA, which was a justice to the victim and the families through accountable Commissions. The political leadership has been able to complete the major agendas of CPA; integration process of Peoples Liberal Army, Disarmament, Constitutional Development, the only remaining agenda of CPA is transitional Justice process which has not been resolved yet. Mr Chaudhari stressed of three major points for the further Transitional Justice Process.

  1. Respectful participation of the victims and the families in each process of Act amendment, Formation of TJ Commission
  2. Implementation of the past verdicts of Supreme Court on Transitional Justice Process through act amendment by meeting the requirement of International Standards.
  3.  Blanket Amnesty should not be provisioned in the cases of serious violation Human Rights

Suman Adhikari: Ex-Chair, Conflict Victim Common Platform

Mr Adhikari reminded about his father who was killed before 18 years and expressed his grievance against the State that the State has not attempted to ensure justice to him and his families till now. Mr Adhikari warned the State for promoting impunity by lengthening the Transitional Justice Process. The former TJ Commission were incapable to deliver any results remained as a rubberstamp. He mentioned that the false commitments without any actions are humiliating the victims and the families. Commissioners selection without victim’s consultation and formation of Commission without act amendment will not be accepted by the victims.

Badri Bahadur KC: Conflict Victim

Mr K.C asked the Chief Guest, Puspa Kamal Dahal about his personal accountability towards the victim Families that the Leader of the political revolution himself remained passive on the issues of Transitional Justice, which is the most frustrating thing. Most of the extra judicial killings were happened because of personal grievances. These grievances will benefit no one. Mr K.C also reminded about the post conflict response through reconciliation, which was the clear agenda of the Peace Accord.

Govinda Bandi Sharma, Human Right Activist  

Mr. Sharma explained that the State should rethink about the conflict transformation and should analyse the TJ process through the outlook of the victims. He mentioned that the guarantee of non-repetition and institutional reforms are only possible through victim friendly TJ process by analysing and dealing with the major consequences of the conflict. This crucial moment can take us to the safe landing through sustainable peace if we could facilitate the procedure in an accountable manner.

Kalyan Budhathoki: Conflict Victim

Mr. Budhathoki explained about the status of victim families who are still struggling with the livelihood issues, thousands of families were displaced and deprived from their belongings, state did not care about the rehabilitation and livelihood of the victims. State should repair this deprivation with effective reparation package

Dr. Shambu Ram Simkhada: Ex Ambassador of Nepal to USA

Dr Simkhada reminded about the major spirit of CPA and the role Late Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, one of the signatories of the CPA. Transitional Justice process itself is a political process where political leadership should assume its role in most responsible manner. The process should incorporate the international standard also it could be customized in accordance to the context of the country. The cooperative role of the victim communities could be a good asset for the process in the context of Nepal.

Bhim Bahadur Basnet: Conflict Victim

Mr. Basnet put his optimistic views towards the political leadership that the mainstream political parties can only lead and drive the process. The process of direct communication has started and has generated the hope among the victim families.

Bipin Adhikari: Constitutional Expert

Mr Adhikari analysed about the reason behind the failure of previously formed Commissions where the State was not been able to provide sufficient resources to them. Political parties should trust the State Institution without political influence that affect the morale and objective of those institutions. Alongside the State should convince the victim communities about the accountability and institutional capability of the Commission to gain the trust of the victim Families.

Sita Oli, Conflict Victim

Mrs Oli remembered her hard time after the death of her husband that she went through while rearing her 2-year old baby son. Her son asked her multiple times about the murderer of her husband, he has the grievance for revenge, but she is still waiting for Justice through proper procedure, Oli asked Mr Dahal about his passiveness being a leading figure of peace process and signatory of CPA.

Khimlal Devkota: Former Member of the Parliament

Mr. Devkota focused on the basic component of the Transitional Justice; Truth, Justice, Prosecution, and Institutional reform should go together. The context and transformation of conflict in Nepal is different; a situation of compromise and it should be resolved through homegrown methods. It must be the common agenda of the State and the then conflicting party and should not be delayed.

Sushila Chaudhari: Conflict Victim

Ms. Chaudhari asked the leadership about the ownership and parenthood that the way State should behave. She said that the state should own the Transitional Justice process and should embrace the victims with care and justice. Ms Chaudhari questioned the State about the obstacles in citizenship provision for victim families, status of disappeared persons, rape cases and associated social issues, and continuous threat from perpetrators.

Kanakmani Dikxit: Writer, Journalist

Mr Dikxit explained about the collective behaviour of a political leadership which remained defensive on its own political agendas and power struggle. It is sad that the victim community is still deprived of their rights long after the promulgation of Constitution. Effective transitional Justice mechanism will increase our height and will support the peace process of Nepal. Nepal can justify itself as peaceful democratic State only after the resolution of conflict related crimes.

Eakendra Panta: Conflict Victim Teachers Struggle Committee

Mr Panta suggested that the victims at grassroot should realize the effectiveness of the process who were revictimized even after the Peace process because of this injustice. Political leadership should come together and should be sincere and serious for the solution without any kind of political grievances and benefits.

Puskar Adhikari: Security force Family Union

Mr Adhikari stated that the act amendment should be the bottom-line for further process and it should accommodate the agendas of the victim families.   Capable and accountable commission can only be imagined after the ammendment.

Geja Sharma Wagle,

Mr Wagle suggested that the shortcomings and weakness of failure of TJ process should be well analysed before we proceed further. The act must be amended with the wider consultation with the victims and their ownership. It is more about the intention of the political leadership which should be changed and actions should be customized in victim friendly manner.

Prof. Kapil Shrestha: Former member of NHRC`

Mr Sharma explained that the previously formed commissions were failed because they could not win the trust of the victim communities. Both the commissions were like a registration desk which did nothing after registration, they were just limited with bureaucratic functions, there is no significance of such commissions. Nepal has been criticised in 195 treaties of being not in lined with the international commitment she has made. Transitional Justice process can uplift our status in International Human Right protection.

Krishna Ghising: Injured Nepal Police

Mr Ghising Briefly explained his sufferings of living a wheelchair life in the last 18 years without justice and proper medical care. He compared himself with the caged bird and appealed for justice with tears.

Bhakta Raj Thapa: “Apil” Injured PLA

Mr Thapa asked for the recognition from the State which is only possible through victim friendly reparation and management of the victim families.

Krisna Prasad Sitaula: Ex-Home Minister, Leader Nepali Congress

Mr Sitaula said that the Transitional Justice is the common responsibility of State and all the political parties. He remembered the context of Peace process and his coordinating role to facilitate the Peace process. He acknowledged Puspa Kamal Dahal and Giija Prasad Koirala to lead the peace process and also the role of Madhav Kumar Nepal to facilitate it. Mr Sitaula made the commitment for the necessary support and coordination on behalf of his Party, Nepali Congress. We have a different political equation but the strong Government with political reforms. We must capitalize and nourish these political achievements through rule of law and justice.

Sushil Pyakurel: Advisor of President

Mr Pyakurel stated that the process was halted because of procedural issues that formation of Commission should be revisited and reanalysed. Reintegration of PLA was f a big step. The architects of the Peace process should rethink about the delays. Victim Communities has submitted multiple demand papers, which might be helpful for this process. Transitional justice is a political process it should be fulfilled through participatory domestic approach.

Madhav Kumar Nepal: Ex- Prime Minister

Mr Nepal said that the Transitional Justice is not only the issue of the victims and the families State should take its ownership. Conflict related issues can be resolved through domestic efforts and cooperation. Parliament can play the facilitative role for act amendment. An example can be set that the World can learn lesson from the peace process of Nepal.

Victim Communities are ready to cooperate with the State if State is willing to resolve it will not be a tough job.  Most of the demands are in the Deceleration published by the victim community. Collective effort is necessary for it. We need to correct the past mistakes while amending the Acts and forming the Commissions. Government should facilitate the coordination among Home and Law Ministries. Mr Nepal put his commitment for fair and victim friendly Transitional Justice in Nepal.

Indra Aryal: Advocate

Mr Aryal stressed that the Mainstream political parties and the Leadership should take a bold decision to prosecute the perpetrators which is the major challenge of this process. War crimes should not be excused in the name of political reconciliations because impunity weakens the State.

Puspa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”: Chair Nepal Communist Party Ex- Prime Minister

Mr Dahal entered into the issues and reminded the previous interaction program held in National Academy Hall, Kamaladi Kathmandu. He expressed his sincere gratitude to the organizer for the interaction program and the recent declarations. He connected transitional Justice with the context of Peace Process, Democratization, Constitutional Development and the internal and external challenges he encountered during the lead. Political leadership has been shifted from their position regarding the TJ laws and formation of the commissions. There used to be a triangular orientation of mainstream leadership during that time, which has shifted now.  Mainstream Political leadership now has similar attitude regarding TJ. The leadership has a clear vision that the TJ process will not be resolved without the ownership and participation of the victims.

 He mentioned that the program had an important role to initiate the remaining process of act amendment and Commission formation. The previous Commission/Commissioners has lost the trust, so the commissioners should not be repeated.  He explained that the members of TRC would not be repeated where the leadership was still thinking about the Commissioners of CIEDP which has very few works to be completed. He clarified that the past verdict of the Supreme Court would be considered for Act Amendment. He also explained about the Provincial Meetings for wider consultations with the victims for appropriate avenues of the following Commissions. He also assured the mass that he would not go for blanket amnesty.

International Standards of Transitional Justice should be well considered and customized for new Commissions. Amnesty will not be provisioned in serious and sensitive cases that are against the international Human Rights. We should collaborate for sustainable peace and guarantee of non-repetition of conflict in future. Army reintegration and Disarmament were the major steps of peace process, which should be well evaluated. He explained that he is ready to take the responsibility of the revolution as well as the role he played for the entire peace process and made the commitment to facilitate for the remaining agendas of peace process in Nepal.

Tika Dhakal, Facilitator

Mr Dhakal summarized the session where he explained about the outlook of the ictim communities has been clarified in front of political leadership, the remaining issues of peace process shall be well responded through domestic measures and institutions. We have already completed the major issues of Peace process includes army reintegration, disarmament, constitutional development, the remaining is transitional justice and it should be resolved through assurance of legal and social justice. The interaction program was successful to connect the victims with the leadership.

Lenin Bista, Chair Peace Envisioners , D-PLAN

Mr Bista reminded the Leadership including Puspa Kamal Dahal to play a necessary role on resolving the livelihood issues of discharged PLA’s who are suffering to fulfil their basic needs. Issues of discharged soldiers should be well responded through proper reparation package and social reintegration approaches.

Mr Bista concluded the session with his remarks.

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