Nepali Times
By The Way
Don't ask, don't tell


A victim of Doramba massacre who was handcuffed and shot.
Few months back when Nepali media and politics was rife with Maoist politburo member Agni Sapkota, then minister of information, we said a media trial into such cases could delay the peace process and impede efforts to find a national consensus on statute drafting. Moreover, individual approaches in such high profile cases may even eclipse larger wrongdoings. Hence, there is an urgent need for an empowered commission which can impartially look into the cases making a clear distinction between political killings during the conflict and individual war crimes.

The resignation of Prabhu Sah for an alleged involvement in the killing of a Hindu Yuva Sangh activist Kashi Tiwari in Birganj last year has once again stirred that debate. But the wishy-washy attitude of the political parties on the issue leaves enough room for us to suspect that none of the parties across the political spectrum want to see such a commission take shape, much less investigate cases. When everyone has skeletons in their closets, no one wants to open any of them for fear of being exposed.

In a decade of conflict and in the following years of the Madhes and other ethnic movements, everybody got their hands tainted: Maoists, the Army, the King and parties that came to assume power and keep musclemen in their payrolls.

It is not so much about whether Agni Sapkota had instructed the killing of Arjun Lama of Kavre out of personal vendetta or if it was a "party decision". Does a political motive justify cold blooded murder of unarmed civilians? But we are not talking about one case here, neither are we talking about one party.

Politicians realise that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission is mutually assured destruction. No matter how much they hate each other, they won't risk being dragged down together. At a time when the country's politics is delicately balanced, none of the parties want to risk losing the support of the army which itself has been internationally censured for unpunished massacres and rapes.

The biggest paradox in Nepali politics today is, despite having gone through a revolution that took us from a monarchy to republic there are still only two real protagonists: the powerful and the powerless. During the Jhalanath Khanal government, the home ministry had forwarded 35 cases to the Law Ministry requesting that the cases be dismissed citing their "political" nature. But the ministry sent back 12 cases saying the cases in question did not fulfill the legal parameters to qualify as "politically-motivated" cases.

When we requested the Law Ministry this week to provide us a copy of its decision regarding the cases under Freedom of Information provisions, officials refused. The secretary at the ministry claimed that the cases were still "under consideration" and hence could not be made available to the public. But an insider told us that the cases have been sent back because they were mostly of non-political nature involving personal crimes committed during and after the war and the Madhes movement.

Soon it will be five years since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in November 2006 providing for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Commission on Disappearances within six months. We have had five governments since then, but the bill remains in limbo. Chances are the commissions will never be formed and even if they are formed, its jurisdiction may be limited to submitting reports which will never be made public. It is even less likely that a future government will act on them. We all know the fate of the Rayamajhi Commission report.

1. Rudra Pangeni
Its futile to expect the formation of the duo commissions and its alike daydreaming of getting the recommendation of the would be committee implemented, years would have passed, new prime ministers will be in positions. 'political motivated crimes' are still seemed to be taken worthwhile -- above the law-- as they can be withdrawn, moreover, crimes are the backbones of the political power and power mongering practice where there will be never justice done to the people anywhere killed even today. it's wiser to forget the gone days, rather let today make sure, any criminals or such motives are to be indisposition of falling behind the bars in the murder cases of in a year whatsoever the ground, people's identity etc.
Wanted a commission for investigating man made road mishaps due to overloading buses, sindicates, that has been maiming and killing thousands of people (last year alone 1689 people lost their lives which was previous year about 600) outnumber the ratio of killed in maoists.  

2. Nirmal
Of all the calamities which afflict Nepali Nationalist culture in modern times, economic misery, disease, ignorance, pollution and many other evils, which hurts the most is this injustice that happened during Maoists' people's war and continues to happen in absence of fair treat. There are not many differing concepts on the subject, because much is known and less is accepted by both sides. What is justice? Where is it? Is it listed in the codes of our nationalist culture and/or in Maoists' philosophy of law? Can our judges be fair and put their full efforts to resolve an issue, being indifferent to what the current political class dictates to them? None of these questions has an answer that will satisfy the thirst for justice that the victims of war suffer.

It seems that we are trading Peace for Injustice and that having a PM (your great leader BRB,) who prefers to die before surrendering to injustice, being possesed under his so called saga of radical democrat. You can imagine how serious our nationalist culture is and how democratic our society is!

3. Rajaram
Ideology gives right to kill anybody.  In the name of political ideolgy or inthe name of religion millions have been slaughtered so far. Fatwas are issued crusades have been fought. Inquisitions and burning at the stakes have been practiced. Even now wich hunting are in practiced. Calling someone a with ,she is humiliated and tortured in recent days in our country itself.
Socialism  or Communism is also similar to a religion.  In the 21st century there should be no place for any  -ISm.We are not interested to any philosophy.
 Earth has no Utopia.WE should be interested to what works.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)