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Singh gets a promotion

Friday, December 25th, 2009

The cabinet promoted Nepal Army General Toran Jung Bahadur Singh to the position of Lieutenant General on Thursday. The prime minister made the decision on Christmas Eve hoping to draw minimum attention to the announcement. Kantipur reports:

According to the Ministry of Defence, the prime minister chose the date ‘strategically’. Most embassies are on a holiday. The prime minister is hoping the news of the promotion will have died down by the time he returns from his visit to China which is scheduled to begin on Saturday.

Singh has been accused of involvement in the disappearance of 49 alleged Maoists who were detained in Bhairavnath Battalion of Nepal Army between 2002 and 2003. Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari had been pushing for his promotion saying it was holding up the promotions of other officials in the army. On Thursday, Bhandari told The Kathmandu Post:

“Singh’s promotion is part of the regular job. There is nothing to object,” Defence Minister Bidya Bhandari told reported in Biratnagar, following the cabinet decision. ‘There is no case pending at the court against him and we can’t prevent anybody’s promotion just based on allegations.”

Bhandari had threatened to boycott cabinet meetings if the prime minister did not promote him, reports Kantipur:

Bhandari has been absent from over a dozen cabinet meeting called by the prime minister. Sources close to the minister said she had threatened to attend future cabinet meetings unless Singh was promoted.

The National Human Rights Commission, OHCHR and other human rights groupss have been demanding legal action against the general. Several countries, including the UK and US, had the government to investigate the allegations  before promoting him. Singh’s promotion will impact Nepal Army’s prestige in and outside the country, OHCHR said on Thursday. From The Kathmandu Post:

“OCHCR’s position since 2006 has been consistent – those implicated in human rights violations committed by members of the 10th Brigade in 2003 and in 2004, when General Singh was in command, should not be promoted pending completion of a full, transparent and impartial investigation,” said Representative of OHCHR-Nepal Richard Bennett.

The decision comes two days after U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy delivered a speech on the senate floor, calling out Nepal Army for their failure to reform. He said:

“I have urged the Nepal Army to respect human rights and cooperate with civilian judicial authorities in investigations of its members who abuse human rights. I spoke on this subject a few days ago in relation to the horrific case of Maina Sunuwar, a 15 year old Nepal girl who was tortured to death by Nepal Army officers who then sought to cover up the crime.

The prime minister may have chosen the holiday season to make the decision, but he might want to rethink the part about noone paying attention.

(Posted by Indu Nepal)

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3 Responses to “Singh gets a promotion”

  1. Rajiv Raj Satyal on Says:

    Congratulations to Gen. Toran.

    Thumbs up for the bold decission taken by MK nepal and Defence Minister Bidya Bhandary.

    The long politics within the Army and opposition from the briebed and paid agencies like US Embassy staffs and foreigners who heads OHCHR-N lost their ill faith battle.

    Why blame Toran for 49 Maoists’ detainee during 2003-2004 in Bhairab Nath Gan? Gen. Toran was not even there? Why not blame the top Generals and the commandents within the Valley during that time. You all know how small Kathmandu is or the country itself is/ How could only Toran or any other officers would have acted alone within the Royal Nepal Army Command during that time without the knowledge of the COAS and other high ranking generals in Kathmandu?

    Why not blame them? Why only Toran? Who was not even present during that time?

    All these UNMIN, UN, Human Rights foreigners should be kicked out of Nepal. Why they keep their eyes shut about the Maoists’ combantants and commanders who killed thousands of innocent people and still doing so.

  2. Ratnesh on Says:

    The media is always biased and so are individuals. I can see it by your anti-Maoist comments on posts like myrepublica where you laud their anti-maoist comments.
    Just a single question;
    How is pro- maoist reporting biased and anti-maoist reporting unbiased? Pray, do tell me the difference.
    Jai nepal

  3. lcd on Says:

    You have great blog and this post is good!

    best regards, Greg

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