Show cause notice to govt over stopping Lenin Bista from flying to Bangkok

The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a show cause notice to the government over stopping former Maoist combatant Lenin Bista from flying to take part in a program in Bangkok, Thailand. A single bench of Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai on Sunday has sought answers from the Home Ministry, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Immigration Department to explain why Bista was stopped. Bista was stopped at the airport on August 24. He moved the SC on August 31 against that naming the Home Ministry, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Immigration Department as defendants. Bista of Kavre was scheduled to board a Nepal Airlines flight to Bangkok but the department stopped him from boarding the flight. The immigration officials stopped Bista after putting the stamp of ‘departed’ on his passport. “They called me back as I walked around five steps after getting my passport stamped. They said they have to study some of my documents and made me wait for an hour before putting the stamp of ‘cancelled’ above departed,” Bista told Setopati. Bista said the immigration officials cited ‘orders from above’ when he asked about the reason for stopping him. The department said Bista has been included in the temporary blacklist Friday itself. “The blacklist should not be temporary. They did not mention my background as well,” he added. He sought written response after not being satisfied with the verbal one. “We have not given permission for departure as the Nepal government has not given recommendation or approval for the program,” the department’s letter reads. Bista had received invitation for ‘Youth in Conflict: Healing and Peace-building through Social Engagement’ program on July 27. Bista and one Namrita Subedi, a member of the family displaced by the Maoists during the conflict period, were set to leave for the program after the organizers Asian Resource Foundation sent invitation along with visa and accommodation arrangements. Namrita Subedi, who was accompanying Bista, was allowed to leave for the same program though. Bista is a former Maoist combatant who was conscripted by the Maoists in 2002 when he was 11 and studying in the fifth grade. He was in the camp for Maoist combatants once the peace process started and was sent back from the camp by UNMIN during the verification process of combatants for being underage. He has been campaigning against the use of children in war after that. He has been lobbying for a law forbidding use of children in wars and demanding that the child combatants used by the Maoists must be managed by the state. He accused the Home Ministry of stopping him in a well-planned manner to stop him from raising such voices in the international forum. He claimed that Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s advisor Surya Subedi had asked him to send the issues he would be addressing in Bangkok. “They demanded the presentation I had prepared for Bangkok. I had sent the same through a friend,” he stated. He claimed that Subedi had warned that he can be stopped anywhere. “He had sent a message saying he can stop me even at the airport if he so wished,” Bista added.Published Date: Sunday, Bhadra 17, 2075,

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