Families of victims had pinned hopes on the UML because it was not in power during the conflict, and its top leaders were not charged with violating human rights in the Maoist insurrection.
After 2006, human rights activists close to the UML were often the only ones speaking for truth and justice. They lobbied governments to set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and amend its provisions so they were in line with international laws and standards.
But the party most strongly pushing transitional justice has now merged with the party whose leaders are charged with unpardonable crimes like murder, torture and rape.
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Suman Adhikari who used to head the Conflict Victims Common Platform (CVCP), says: “The unification of UML and Maoists has further weakened us, and our cause.”
Pro-UML human rights activists have softened their tone as the Maoists whom they tried to indict for war crimes have now become their own leaders.
Meanwhile, the opposition NC will not be raising its voice since Sher Bahadur Deuba himself is accused of enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
Gopal Shah of the Maoist Victims’ Association is an NC supporter, but gets no support from the NC. He says: “The party knows it cannot get its leadership to push for transitional justice. All parties will now be united in calling for amnesty.”