Tej then joined Human Rights Watch as a researcher, and later senior researcher, on South Asia, focusing in her initial years on the civil war conflicts in Sri Lanka and in her home country, Nepal. Based on her team’s research on Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch produced one of the most comprehensive documentations of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) forced recruitment of child soldiers.
In Nepal, based on her team’s research, the organisation produced one of the first international reports on the range of violations committed by both sides to the armed conflict. Tej also led research into allegations of sexual violence during Nepal’s armed conflict: her team’s research on this topic led to the publication of the first international report covering sexual violence during the Nepali conflict.
Tejshree Thapa wrote frequent op-eds for Nepali Times on human rights issues. Most recently, Tej was one of the first human rights workers to tell the world about the horrific plight of the Rohingya, fleeing persecution by security forces in Myanmar.
Tej is survived by her 18-year-old daughter, Maya Thapa-Ó’Faoláin, whose brilliant and empathetic nature counts as an important legacy of her mother. Tej’s parents Bhekh Bahadur Thapa and Rita Thapa, the family of her late brother Bhaskar Thapa, and the family of her sister Manjushree Thapa, are proud of Tej as an independent woman with an uncompromising vision of justice.
She was an exceptional daughter of Nepal whose good work changed the lives of many, far beyond Nepal.
Selection of op-eds in Nepali Times by Tejshree Thapa:
Nepali mothers and an Irish daughter
Responsibility at home and abroad
A dirty war