US for transitional justice mechanism in line with int'l HR standards
KATHMANDU, Sept 11: Visiting US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O Blake, on Tuesday urged government to ensure transitional justice mechanisms that meet international human rights standards.
Addressing a press conference before wrapping up his two-day visit to Nepal, Blake said a key part of concluding the peace process will be for all parties to develop transitional justice mechanism that are independent, credible and transparent and that addresses the concerns of all victims and their families.
“It is crucial that any Truth and Reconciliation Commission be credible and aligned with internationally recognized human rights standards,” he said.
Blake also pointed out the need to do more to hold the wrongdoers accountable and uphold the rule of law in Nepal. “U.S. policy goals in Nepal are clear. We wish to see a stable, democratic and prosperous Nepal in which the rights of all citizens are protected and the rule of law respected,” he said.
Blake mentioned that US government decided to revoke the designation of the UCPN (Maoist) as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity and also removed the party from the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) considering the commitment it has shown towards renouncing violence and adopting peaceful politics as means to achieve political goal.
He, however, added that since the process of putting some entities under TEL is a dynamic based on their activities, the designation of Global Terrorist entity and TEL could be reinstated if any of the Maoist faction that engaged again in violent and terrorist activities.
During his stay in Nepal, Blake held meeting with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, Chief of Army Staff Gaurab SJB Rana, business leaders and members of Tibetan community in Kathmandu.
While lauding the Nepal´s continued support to provide safe passage to Tibetan refugees sneaking into Nepal from Tibet to India and elsewhere, Blake asked Nepal government to provide documents to those Tibetan refugees living in Nepal for long time so that they can travel abroad and get employment opportunities. “Nepal´s commitment to the protection of Tibetan refugees, both those in the long-staying community and new arrivals transiting to India, has earned Nepal international respect,” he noted.
Blake said he got impression from meetings with political leaders that the differences on names, number and boundary of federal provinces could be settled if the leaders demonstrated statesmanship for the future of the country. "If Nepal´s political leaders can put aside their differences and work together, we are confident that outstanding constitutional issues can be settled," he said.
Adding that US investors were keen on investing in various areas in Nepal, Blake said Nepal needed to address problems like political instability, corruptions and lack of dependable electricity to attract foreign investors. “I encourage renewed effort to work with the government to develop sound economic policies and a stable political situation that will attract foreign investors,” he said.