HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The National Human Rights Commission today called on the government not to declare martyrs in a haphazard manner and dole out funds to the families concerned, stressing the need for laws to curb this practice.
Stating that governments declare martyrs based on political connections and provide compensation to their families, NHRC Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhyay demanded that the government do away with this practice and bring laws to govern this.
Upadhyay, speaking at a programme that the constitutional rights body had organised to mark its 12th anniversary with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai as chief guest, suggested that the government practise transparency while recognising someone as a martyr.
On the occasion, Upadhyay also came heavily down on the government for not forming Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Commission on Inquiry of Disappeared to handle crimes committed during the decade-long Maoist conflict. “The government has made a few positive efforts, but progress in the transitional justice sector has been tardy. There has been no progress in the formation of key commissions related to transitional justice. Seized properties have not been returned yet and displaced people have not been able to return home,” Upadhyay added.
He said protection of human rights has become a tough ask due to the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly without promulgation of the constitution, and urged the government to end the transition as soon as possible.
The NHRC chief pointed that the assassination of justice Rana Bahadur Bam and lack of serious efforts on the part of the government to bring the culprits to book, and nexus between criminals and security personnel in some cases points at a precarious security situation.
Upadhyay asked the PM to ensure security of the public. On his part, PM Bhattarai said the government is committed to ensuring human rights and said his administration will bring a human rights protection strategy in the near future. He said the government is committed to implementing NHRC recommendations regarding cases of human rights violation.
Based on NHRC’s recommendations, the government has already distributed Rs 95 million to conflict victims, Bhattarai said. The government wants to ensure the rights of the people by promulgating a constitution after fresh elections to the CA, lamenting at the failure of the constitution-making body to deliver a constitution this time.
United Nations Resident Coordinator Robert Piper urged the NHRC to play a proactive role for the protection of human rights in the current situation, which he described as ‘extraordinary’.