Big III split once again, Isssue of reconciliation the bone of contention

KATHMANDU: Going against the agreement reached on March 31, the three major political parties again showed differences on some issues of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Inquiry Commission into Disappearances bills at the three-party meeting held in Singha Durbar today.

Although, the Ministry of Law and Justice presented the draft bills at the meeting, political parties aired divided views unsettling settled issues .

UCPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress focused on effecting reconciliation between offender and victim, while the UML stance was that amnesty could not be given if the victim rejects reconciliation, sources said.

Regarding the bill on disappearances, NC and UML opposed the proposed draft bill saying it did not meet the standard of the TRC bill in reconciling offender and victim.

NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi said, “As the spirit of the two bills is to create reconciliation as part of the peace process, we are giving it priority. Since the Interim Constitution has provisioned the commissions with the spirit of reconciliation, it the most important aspect of conflict management, so the same spirit should inform the bills.”

Agni Kharel of UML said his party could not agree with the UCPN-M and NC on giving amnesty when victim rejects reconciliation. UCPN-M and NC were for bestowing discretionary power to members of the commission while recommending amnesty even if the victim refused to be reconciled, he said.

NC leader Ramesh Lekhak proposed the idea of forming only the TRC and bestowing it all the powers of the bill on disappearances. “Since both commissions are similar in nature, a single commission can adjust the issues in an easier manner,” Lekhak told THT. However, Maoist leaders rejected the idea saying two separate commissions were needed.

Congress and UML also opposed the bill on disappearances, which included two things — a permanent law on disappearance and formation of a commission to look into conflict related issues only, said Lekhak. The section mentioning a permanent type of law should be removed from the bill, he said.

The three parties, on March 31, had agreed to form the commissions bestowing members the discretionary power of whether to recommend a case for amnesty or legal action. HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

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