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Army draws flak from OHCHR

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The High Level Political Mechanism held its first meeting after the demise of its coordinator Girija Prasad Koirala on Friday, but was pretty inconsequential since the three parties are still arguing about who should lead the mechanism.

Republica says the parties “agreed to appoint the new coordinator after holding broad discussions on the upcoming days.” We are not entirely sure what ‘broad discussions’ mean, but it sounds a lot like there will be plenty of arguing for us to witness.

Nepal Army has drawn flak from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal for “non-cooperation” in the investigation of the deaths of three females, including a 12-year-old girl, in Bardiya National Park on 10 March. The Kathmandu Post writes:

In a statement on Thursday, the UN rights body said that even after two weeks “the relevant state authorities have been unable to complete their investigations in accordance with the law and their mandates.” This follows other incidents wherein civilian authorities have not been able to properly investigate cases concerning the NA as per the law, it said.

OHCHR said the Army had not cooperated on the investigation of similar incidents like the shooting of Mahendra Masrangi Magar in August 2008 and killing of Rajkumar Darai by Army personnel in Chitwan last November. “In each incident, the Army has carried out its own investigations, but this cannot substitute for the official investigations of civilian authorities. OHCHR urges the NA to fully cooperate with the police investigation, as per the Nepal Army Act and international law.”

The army has maintained that the women were poachers and were shot by the soldiers in self-defence.

The doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, who were forced to resume emergency services after the locals threatened to cut off water and electricity supply on Thursday, can rejoice or start the graveyard shifts again. The university has decided to scrap the controversial examinations for postgraduate admissions as they had demanded. Kantipur reports:

In a press statement issued today, the TU informed the decision to this effect was taken as per the probe report submitted by the panel formed earlier on March 19 and the discussion with the agitating sides.

The university has also decided to direct the IoM, Office of Dean, to re-conduct the tests as per the existing rule by creating an environment of trust .

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