Constitution has ensured Civil and political rights: Former President Bhandari

  February 19, 2024 By: Ramesh Prasad Timalsina

Informal Sector Service center INSEC released its annual publication Nepal human rights yearbook 2024 amid a program at Kathmandu on Feb 19, 2024. The book was unveiled by former president Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

During the program Former President Bidya Devi Bhandari in her speech said that the Constitution of Nepal upholds civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as fundamental rights. she also talked about the challenges of political instability, good governance, and impunity regarding ensuring the implementation of the civil rights. Furthermore, she expressed concern over the delayed justice towards the victims of the armed conflict. She cited the case of Nanda Prasad Adhikari, who died during a hunger strike demanding action against the killer of his son. Additionally, she said that the inability to perform the cremation till date due to this delay highlights the impunity and poor human rights situation of Nepal.

photo20240219kathmandup (4)

She concerned over the delay on the transitional justice process with various factors and emphasized the importance to be attentive towards adopting a victim centric approach for completing the rest of the peace process without further delay.

During the program, member of the National Assembly member and former Foreign Minister Bimala Rai Paudel said that there are many challenges in the field of human rights. She added that Nepal still has a lot of work to do in the field of human rights. Since the fundamental rights in the constitution and the commitments made by Nepal at the international level are compatible, it will be easier to implement human rights. She emphasized that Nepal should work according to the international commitments and suggested to raise the issue of human rights violations at the international level. As per her, Nepal is not yet able to play that role.

photo20240219kathmandu1

During the program, Biraj Bhakta Shrestha, a member of the House of Representatives and the deputy leader of the parliamentary party of the Rastrya Swatantra Party, expressed that the government playing a ruling role instead of serving the people will lead towards rebellion. In addition,  if the government fails to prioritize service to the citizens, it could bring another revolution. There is a fine line between freedom and anarchy, Shrestha made it clear about the importance of transparency in politics and that politics of prohibition will not work anymore. Furthermore, the issue of climate change should be included as a matter of human rights. He suggested that the human rights organizations should also work on the rights related to water, land and forests.

photo20240219kathmandu7

Sushil Pyakurel,  founder Chairperson of INSEC and former member of the National Human Rights Commission, said that raising awareness among people will lead to development and protection of human rights. He further highlighted the importance of following the approach outlined by the Nepal Human Rights Year Book released by INSEC in protecting the human rights. Therefore, the representative of the Provincial, Local government also should emphasize on the need to read the Nepal Human Rights Year Book. He also shared about the significance of the Human Rights Yearbook and stated that the utility of the yearbook is beyond the purview of INSEC. Pyakurel claimed that if the world needs to understand Nepal as a whole, the Nepal Human Rights Yearbook can be used as a reference material. Additionally, he expressed his dissatisfaction on the delay in transitional justice, asserting that the government should be held responsible and accountable for these delays. He stated the need to strengthen the government for it to act as the protector of human rights.

During the program Kristine Hauge Storholt, Deputy Chief of the Mission Royal Norwegian Embassy of Nepal, thanked INSEC for launching the Year book 2024. She also shared few data on violence against women and made concern about these kind of growing pattern and trends. She further mentioned about the continued cooperation of Norwegian Embassy to support INSEC.

Dr. Samjhana Bistha, Chief of Dan Church Aid Nepal, office mentioned that INSEC should also prioritize on documentation of environmental rights as well.

During the program chaired by Dr. Kundan Aryal, chairperson of INSEC, the executive director of INSEC, Bijay Raj Gautam, shared insight about various topics covered in the yearbook. He claimed the yearbook as a reference material for anyone interested in human rights. The executive director provided that in 2023, a total of 9,388 cases of human rights violations were documented, among them 988 were from the state and 8,400 from other parties. This showcases an increase of 2,104 cases compared to previous year.

In the program, 101-year-old Dr. Gauri Shankar Lal Das, the former member of NHRC, was honored with a certificate as ‘Manab Adhikar Shatabdi Purush’. Similarly, The Former President honored seven of the District Representatives of INSEC from all seven Provinces with cash prizes.

The recipients were Saraswati Baniya of Okhaldhunga from Koshi Province, Budhan Shah of Sarlahi from Madhesh Province, Dipendra Adhikari of Chitwan from Bagmati Province, Srijana Pant of Baglung from Gandaki Province, Parvati Acharya of Kapilvastuki from Lumbini Province, Maandutta Rawal of Jumla from Karnali Province and Lily Kunwar of Kanchanpur from Sudurpaschim Province.


Navaraj Ghimire