Govt to do all it can to secure Col Lama's release
KATHMANDU, Jan 18: The government has decided to take all diplomatic measures to secure the release of Nepal Army (NA) Colonel Kumar Lama, who was arrested in the United Kingdom for alleged human rights violations during the conflict.
A cabinet meeting held in Singh Durbar on Thursday evening took a decision to this effect. "The cabinet meeting decided to release the amount if Lama can be released on bail and will hire lawyers, if necessary, to secure his release," said Minister for Forests and Soil Conservation Yadubansha Jha after the meeting.
Lama was arrested in the UK two weeks ago for his alleged involvement in torturing detainees in Nepal during the Maoist insurgency.
The cabinet also approved vacancies required for the formation of National Development and Security Directorate under the Nepal Army. Likewise, the cabinet meeting also decided to withdraw cases of murder against five persons.
EU missions urge govt not to condone crimes
Expressing concerns over the progress on the formation of the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Disappearance Commission, European Missions along with Norway and Switzerland have urged the government not to wait for the transitional justice mechanisms to prosecute the person guilty of serious human rights violations.
Issuing a joint press statement on Thursday, they have also asked the government not to condone the crime and ignore the victims of human rights violations. “Where sufficient evidence exists, cases can and should be prosecuted in the courts independently,” said the joint statement.
The European countries have said that the proposed TRC and Disappearance Commission will complement, but not replace the criminal proceedings. This comes in the wake of government arguing that all the cases of human rights violations during the Maoist conflict will be dealt with through the TRC and Disappearance Commission.
The EU missions that include Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, UK, and the EU Delegation, and Norway and Switzerland have also said that they will be unable to support mechanisms that do not meet international standards.
“As friends and well-wishers of Nepal, we reaffirm our continued commitment and support to the aspirations of Nepali people for lasting peace, a new democratic and inclusive constitution that protects fundamental rights, the rule of law and a sustainable socio-economic and political environment,” the statement further said.
While asking the government and political parties not to not to provide amnesty for serious human rights abuses, the European countries have also demanded formation of independent and credible commissions that result from extensive public consultation and regard for victims´ needs.
“We again make clear that granting the commissions authority to confer amnesties for serious human rights abuses would not only breach international law but would also fundamentally weaken the foundations for a lasting peace in Nepal,” it added.