Kamala Sarup: Victims Want Justice, Human Rights

Published: Tue 1 May 2007 10:37 PM
Victims Want Justice, Human Rights
By Kamala Sarup
When the Maoist Victims Association, an organization of people displaced by Maoist violence, organized a sit-in protest they were arrested by police. The victims were demanding rehabilitation, compensation, employment and free medical treatment for those who were injured during the 10-year Maoist war.
The social and political organizations is offering no support, and the socio political organizations are not doing enough to bring justice to these victims. They have asked only that the government provide enough financial support and protection for them to return safely to their homes.
It seems the concerned socio political organizations are not prepared to deal with Maoist victims and violence. Even though the Maoists' Communist Party of Nepal has declared peace, the violent killings, kidnappings and extortion continue. The victims of earlier violence want peace, democracy and development. But the various political entities have all resorted to violence to further their own causes.
"Nepalese today live in very uncertain times. After a decade of fighting, the war -- with its violence and killings -- has become institutionalized. The Maoists' victims and ordinary people are suffering on a daily basis. The hills are burning, the killing fields are spread all over Nepal, and now the Terai region is burning. The recent incident that took place in Gaur last month, where 27 Maoists and others were butchered during a political rally, is only a picture of what lies ahead for Nepal and the Nepali people. Violence will only breed more violence, more deaths and killings". A Nepali Scholar Dr. Kamal Panday said recently.
Ethnic and Maoist violence continues to endanger the lives of the population and hinder economic recovery; civil strife and violent conflict have become commonplace. More than 15,000 people have died, many more have been injured, and millions have been deprived of their basic human rights. Human life has lost its value. The once peaceful nation of Nepal has been turned into a war zone.
On one side, the United Nations is collecting arms -- on the other side the Maoists, Defence Army and Madhesi Tigers are fully armed and ready to do battle. Maoists are more organized today than they ever were before. Maoists could not care less what happens to the Nepali man, woman and child in the street.
"Police conducted raids on the offices of the Young Communist League to search for weapons, but gave them a clean bill. Who are we trying to fool? What worries me is that Nepal will become like some African countries, with no law and order, and marauding gangs roaming the countryside and even in the capital after some time. A traffic policeman can control hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians not because he is strong or armed. It is due to the legitimacy and respect people have for authority. That respect, for the first time, is steadily eroding in this country, as can be exemplified by so many motorcyclists without helmets". A local woman, Tanuja told me.
We need to find the root cause of the problem of the Nepali people's suffering. Yet, there is no soul searching, no self criticism, no accountability.
The Nepali Maoist victims want justice, human rights, peace, development and freedom. Above all they want economic development. But currently, law and order have broken down in Nepal.
"Displaced women want education and employment for their children. For the past decade, the responsible institutions have failed miserably to provide quality education. Even though the literacy rate in Nepal has increased, in reality the standard of education has not improved. A whole generation of educated illiterates has been produced. Non-governmental organizations and various donor nations have poured in millions of dollars for education reform, but look at the village schools and the teachers. There is no proper infrastructure, books, trained teachers, or even nutritious food for the children. Rampant corruption has hurt educational development and planning". Dr. Panday further added.
"There was a time when I could see far ahead, very far, right up to the glorious Nepal. Now I can't see beyond my compound wall," a local teacher, Charan Adhikary, told me. "There is so much of a haze, a political haze brought here by the smoke of burning jungles, just like the haze in Singapore caused by the forest fires in Indonesia."
At least the new United Marxist-Leninist education minister, Pradip Nepal, has said that he would resign on May 9 if the key functionaries of all four universities are not appointed by May 8. But the Maoist forestry minister fights with the prime minister in the Cabinet over allegations that the army is destroying the Shivapuri forest, and walks out. The Maoists forcibly stop the functioning of the legislature due to the police raids on the Young Communist League offices.
Good governance is badly needed to mobilize the Nepali people to set local development priorities, coordinate and ensure effective implementation of development plans. It is very important that the nation understands the importance of the overall development of the people and provides them with training, education and employment. Nepali victims are looking for a good leader.
This article was originally published by UPI Asia Online. Nepalese Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication, philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and community development.

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