Nepal government under fire for backing Sri Lanka on rejecting UN probe into rights abuses in final battle against LTTE



Nepal's human rights defenders have taken serious exception over the government's backing of Sri Lanka to defeat the European bid at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to have an internal investigation into alleged war crimes by the state military and LTTE in the civil war. Time magazine reported 20,000 civilians died in the final battle against LTTE in Sri Lanka. Terming Nepal's support to Sri Lanka as unfortunate and objectionable, the defenders said they would raise strong voice against the democratic government's failure to stand by human rights.


Accountability Watch Committee, a national network of organizations working in the field of Human Rights termed Nepal's support to Sri Lanka condemnable. "Nepal went against the HRC resolution to have an independent monitoring of rights violation in Sri Lanka at a time when even the media and the UN were denied an entry to the area where Lankan government fought final battle against LTTE," said former Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Chairman of Accountability Watch Committee in his statement to the Post. "It is condemnable that Nepal went against the resolution."


INSEC, a leading rights defender organization said that Nepal committed a serious blunder by siding against human rights. "What should we understand when Sri Lanka did not allow an independent probe into the reported genocide?" questioned INSEC Chairman Subodh Pyakurel. "There must be something serious and embarrassing that the Lankan government wants to hide, and what is all the more disappointing is Nepal backing up Sri Lanka." He said that Nepal could have abstained as many of the HRC members did.


National Human Rights Concern Center (NHRCC) also dubbed the government move as "objectionable and unfortunate". "This is a serious violation of UN Human Rights Declaration 1948 … Nepal has taken the decision haphazardly surrendering to the interest of powerful nations," said NHRCC Chairman Mukti Pradhan. He also said that NHRC and other international rights defenders working in Nepal should inquire the government on what basis it supported Sri Lanka or at least make their stand clear.


In his statement, spokesman of Cahurast, a national organization of defenders, Bashudev Sigdel said that the government decision was unfortunate and his organization decided to take up the issue as a main agenda in its fight for universal protection of human rights.


Human Rights Organization of Nepal (HURON) maintained that Nepal as a country which went through similar violent war could have played an important role at the HRC to make Lankan government protect human rights. "Nepal has failed to play an independent role at the HRC," said former NHRC Commissioner and HURON Chiar Sudip Pathak.

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