Though one year has elapsed since the decade long Maoist insurgency ended in Nepal but there was not much improvement in the Human Rights situation of the country. There is still the situation of dual government and human rights violations continued even after the Maoists had joined the political mainstream leaving the decade long armed conflict.
Despite the hope of the people that the country will move towards peace and stability following the success of the April movement and Maoists officially declaring end of armed insurgency in November 2006 after signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the people of mid-western region yet to get relief. The Mid-Western region, which is the birthplace of the Maoist insurgency, is hardly hit from the decade long Maoist insurgency, which had claimed the lives of over 13,000 people. Though the Maoists and the security forces had stopped exchanging bullets and people do not have the fear that they will be caught in the crossfire there is no recession in violation of people's rights. Violations of human rights continued even after signing of the CPA and Maoists coming to the political mainstream. There are a number of challenges in the region.
Though the Maoists had agreed to formally end the decade long insurgency by signing Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) on November last year, the Maoists continued their acts as rebels in many parts of the country. The government had also remained indifferent to enforce law and order in the country. The point 5.2.2 of the CPA states that both the sides will release the people under their captivity within 15-days of signing the CPA but 22 people in Rukum, seven people in Pyuthan and six people in Jajarkot district are still in the Maoist's captivity and reports from other districts of mid-western region said that Maoists are still continuing their so called People's Court in different names. Similarly rather than returning the properties captured during the insurgency, Maoists are capturing the properties of general people like what they did during the insurgency period. Maoists have not been allowing safe return of internally displaced people in some districts of the region. Six families of Kalikot district displaced due to Maoist's threats in the charge of offering prayer to god and also celebrating the Dashain festival. Similarly, 17 people of Salyan district also displaced in recent day following a dispute regarding appointment of teacher in local school. Similarly, both the government and the Maoists have failed to publicise the whereabouts of disappeared people as stated in the CPA. The state also failed to provide any relief to the conflict hit people. Maoists had continued their acts of abducting people and giving torture in various charges despite their commitment of not doing so. On the other hand, rather than taking any action against the perpetrator, the government remained mute spectator.
Participants from all 15-districts of Mid-Western Region during a regional level workshop on December 9, on the eve of International Human Rights day said that there was not much improvement in human rights situation in the region after success of people's movement and signing of CPA, except end in direct violence. "The socio, economic discrimination continued in the region despite end of decade long Maoist insurgency and establishment of Lokatantra in the country," the participants added. They said that internally displaced people are not getting relief, which is meant for them and Maoists have been collecting forceful donations during the period. They also added that Maoists have been obstructing political activities in some districts and repeated postponement in the elections of the constituent assembly had increased political pessimism among people. The law and order situation is worsening in the region. Various groups not only targeting general people, they also started targeting human rights activists as they advocated for the rights of people. Human Rights activist Madan Rimal, who was affiliated with INSEC was attacked in Rajapur area of Bardiya. Similarly, one human rights activist was abducted in Rukum two weeks back. The attack against human rights defenders also added fear to the general people but the security forces yet to find any clue on both the incidents. The Mid-Western Region, which is the birthplace of the Maoist insurgency, was the most affected region of the country. The deep rooted social and other forms of discriminations, violations of people's rights were also some of the causes for the beginning of the Maoist insurgency and if these issues were neglected while making new Nepal, there will be room for another form of conflict in, the recent terai uprising is also a case in point. So, the political parties and the government should try to address longstanding discrimination of the country for restoration of sustainable peace. The government should give justice to people affected from the decade long insurgency with appropriate compensation. The participants of the regional workshop said that the government and the Maoists should immediately publicise the whereabouts of people disappeared on the hands of security forces and the Maoists and conducive environment should be made for safe return of all the internally displaced people. The identity of the people killed during the Maoist insurgency should be made public and appropriate compensation should be given to conflict victims to avoid another form of conflict in the country.
Nepali people, who had sacrificed their lives during the 19-day long Jana Aandolan II with the hope of restoration of sustainable peace in the country and assurance of protection of their rights are getting frustrated with the act of the seven political parties. The political parties, which concentrated most of the times in bargaining of portfolios and other issues, could not even take appropriate action against the suppressers of the people's movement. The parliament had ruled the government to accede the Rome Statute of ICC, but it failed to ratify the Rome statute. The political parties had changed the date of the election of the constituency assembly twice and postponed it for indefinite period depriving people from their voting rights. The uncertainty about the CA polls gave rise to emergence of various armed outfits in various parts of the country resulting into violations of people's rights. Rise in various armed outfits had also increased insecurity of people. According to statistics of INSEC, five rights defenders were killed during 11 months of current year. The passivity of the ruling parties to form truth and reconciliation commission as stated in CPA had promoted the culture of impunity in the country.
The Nepali government had ratified six big treaties but the implementation side is very poor. Though 59 years have been passed since the UN had adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, many Nepalese in rural parts of the country are not aware about their rights. The people of remote area, who are struggling every moment for bread and butter do not know what UDHR is and what are their rights as a human being and being a citizen of the country. Though various non governmental organizations are working to make people about their rights much needs to be done for the protection and promotion of human rights.
[Mr. Baidya, who had worked in mainstream media of Nepal for over six years, is presently working as Documentation Officer at INSEC, Mid-Western Regional Office. How do you find the write up please send your comment to email@example.com]
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