513 bandhs in the last six months cripple Nepal

Recruitment of 5000 more Nepali police personnel reduces the chances for integration of the PLA and success of the peace process

New Delhi: The Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR), in its report, Nepal and the Pax Indianus (http://www.achrweb.org/briefingpapers/BPNepal-07-09.pdf), released to the media today stated that daily bandhs are crippling Nepal.  In the first six months of 2009, 513 bandhs or about 3 bandhs per day were called across Nepal: 69 by the CPN-Maoists (CPN-M), 15 by Nepali Congress (NC), 17 by CPN-UML, 175 by local citizen groups, 175 by armed groups, 145 by transporters and 92 by traders.  

The bandhs are a potent symbol of a dangerously unstable political stalemate over the failure of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and most visibly over how to disarm, integrate and rehabilitate the People’s Liberation Army.

 

“The debate on the integration of the PLA has been reduced to integration in the Nepal Army only. All options including integration in the Nepal army must be debated and agreed upon. However, the decision of the government of Nepal on 26 June 2009 to increase the size of the Armed Police Force and the Police by five thousand more personnel further reduces the chances of integration of the PLA as well as the success of the Peace Process.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.  

 

ACHR’s report stated that the Army led by Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Rukmangud Katuwal is actively promoting another conflict with the CPN-M, among others, by antagonising the democratic middle ground by pushing the promotions of well-documented human rights violators into senior positions in the army. On 30 June 2009, the COAS recommended promotion of Brigadier General BA Kumar Sharma to Major General. Sharma publicly threatened members of the Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission during the conflict and was central to the military cover up of the Doramba Massacre of 19 detainees on 17 August 2003. On 1 July 2009, the COAS further recommended that Major General Toran Bahadur Singh be promoted to Lieutenant General. Singh was directly implicated in the systematic torture, summary execution and disappearances of numerous suspected Maoist detainees under his charge by the Bhairabnath Battalion.

 

Yesterday, on 13 July 2009, the government of Nepal promoted Brigadier General BA Kumar Sharma to Major General.

 

“The promotion of officers like General BA Kumar Sharma and General Toran Bahadur Singh whose hands are soaked in blood and whose services have been turned down by the United Nations because of involvement in human rights violations is just one more indicator of an administration in hock to the Army.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

 

ACHR urged India to take advantage of the 6th July 2009 decision of the CPN-M decision to allow parliament to start functioning

 

“This provides India the opportunity to decisively delink itself from its recent unconditional support to the Army especially the COAS, Rukmangud Katuwal that has damaged the Indian interests.” – asserted Mr Chakma.  

ACHR urged India to play a critical role similar to the one played to facilitate the 12-point agreement of November 2005 and call for the early establishment of an independent mechanism to monitor the CPA, definitive Maoist renunciation of violence, the Maoists’ commitment to the rule of law and establish measurable indicators of progress with regard to individual cases of abuse by the Maoists.

[Ends]

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