Nepal rights-body chief welcomes Lama’s arrest in Britain

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s top human rights body chief has justified the arrest of Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama by British police.

Chief of National Human Rights Commission, a constitutional body of the nation that oversees all human rights issues, said that Lama’s arrest in London was as per international laws that provision for the arrest and trial of any national accused of human rights abuses and not been tried for it at home.

Speaking in an televised interview taken by Rishi Dhamala, Chairman Kedar Nath Upadhya said that a human rights abuse case was filed against Lama in the judiciary but as he was not tried for it, the British government booked him for the alleged crimes.

In the RD Show, televised by the Himalayan Television on Saturday, Upadhya said, ‘ The commission supports Lama’s arrest by the British court. We will provide all our support.”

He informed that the incumbent Maoist government has repeatedly denied to implement any of the recommendations made by the commission, and expressed dissatisfaction for not being consulted while preparing the pending Truth and Reconciliation Commission ordinance.

” We don’t know the details and nature of the TRC ordinance that the government has forwarded to the President for approval. As the government has not discussed the ordinance’s details with us, we won’t be accepting the TRC ordinance even if the President endorses it,” Upadhaya said.

The former Chief Justice’s statement comes at a time when the Maoist government is trying to persuade national and international human rights and diplomatic communities for trying all war-crimes- committed by the state and the Maoist- through the formation of TRC.

Elaborating on the reported details of the ordinance, Upadhya said that the proposed TRC has provisions for granting blanket amnesty to serious human rights violation and crimes like murder, rape, extortions.

He said that such provisions were against international war-crime laws and claimed that the commission as well as the international community will not approve the decisions taken by the TRC, even if it forms and prosecutes.

Referring to the ongoing confrontation over the investigation and prosecution of journalist Dekendra Thapa’s murder between rights bodies and the government, Upadhaya said that the government should not influence the investigation.

Terming the Prime Minister and Attorney General’s directives to stop the investigation of Thapa’s murder as an wrong act, he claimed both of them do not have the authority to deny justice.