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Nepali govt under fire for backing Lanka – ANN

[MISC, Friday, 12 June 2009 07:44 No Comment]

The government has come under heavy criticism from the human rights defenders for its move at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) that helped prevent an independent probe into genocide and other war crimes that military and LTTE rebels might have committed during the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war.

The defenders termed Nepal’s support to Sri Lanka, which effectively thwarted a European bid to probe into possible war crimes, objectionable. They said they would raise voices against the democratic government’s failure to stand for human rights.

Accountability Watch Committee, a national network of organisations working for human rights, termed Nepal’s support to Sri Lanka condemnable. “Nepal went against the HRC resolution to have an independent probe into rights violation in Sri Lanka despite the fact that media and the UN were denied entry to the area where the Lankan government fought the final battle against the LTTE,”  said a former Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Chairman of Accountability Watch Committee Sushil Pyakurel.

Nepal committed a blunder by siding against human rights. “What should we understand when Sri Lanka does not allow an independent probe into the reported genocide?” questioned Chairman of the rights body Subodh Pyakurel. “There must be something serious and embarrassing that the Lankan government wants to hide. Nepal backing Sri Lanka in all this is all the more disappointing.” Pyakurel said Nepal, like many HRC members, could have abstained from voting.

National Human Rights Concern Centre Chairman Mukti Pradhan said, “The government move at the HRC is a serious violation of UN Human Rights Declaration 1948. Nepal has taken the decision haphazardly, surrendering to the interests of powerful nations.” He said NHRC and other international rights defenders working in Nepal should question the government on what grounds it supported Colombo or at least clarify their stance on the matter.

Bashudev Sigdel, spokesman for Cahurast, a national organisation of defenders, also criticised the government move.

Human Rights Organisation of Nepal  maintained that Nepal, which also went through a war, could have played a crucial role at the HRC to make Sri Lanka stand for human rights. “Nepal has failed to play an independent role at the HRC,” said a former NHRC Commissioner and HURON Chair Sudip Pathak.

The Kathmandu Post

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