English Translation of Annapurna Post Editorial, Secession and Human Rights

In its editorial ‘Secession and Human Rights’ (click here to access it in Nepali), Annapurna Post, one of national Nepali language dailies, arguably suggested major political parties and the current government about the impeachment of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) member and Spokesperson Mohna Ansari because she had presented real human rights situation in the March session of UN’s Universal Periodic Review of Nepal and also clandestinely met Dr. CK Raut as per media reports.
We (Madhesi Youth) would like to slam the Annapurna Post Editorial (translated into English below) for making cynical argument about the recent activities of NHRC and especially its Commissioner and Spokesperson Ansari.  We urge all the stakeholders to criticize its take on and raise the issue with the government  of Nepal not to intervene in the independent constitutional body of human rights in Nepal.

There is a kind of cold war going on between the National Human Rights Commission and the government.  Prime Minister KP Oli called the Chair of NHRC and members of the constitutional body and expressed his displeasure against the alleged behavior of one of the members.

Some human rights organizations have accused neither the PM for undermining the independence of NHRC but neither the government nor the NHRC have made any authentic comments about the controversy thus far. Therefore, this is likely to snowball into other controversies.

The Commission has been created as a constitutional body as per Paris agreement and the country’s own constitution which is expected to  independently review human rights situation and makes, in an impartial and independent manner,  necessary recommendations to the government and also issues necessary orders.

But the Commission is also expected to remain within its brief without acting arbitrarily. And the conduct and commitment of the members of the Commission should also conform to the spirit and norms of the constitution.

Recent news reports pointed out that Member of NHRC Mohna Ansari took some secessionists’ side at international forums and at a meeting of UN Human Rights forum in Geneva. Some news reports also mentioned that Ansari clandestinely met CK Raut, who is involved in a hateful campaign against the national and women.

It is true that the members of the commission can be impeached if they did not show their conduct suitable to the norms of their position. As in some bodies where appointments have been made on the basis of political quotas among the political parties, impeachment is possible only when there is national unity but some political parties might keep mum on the issue (of impeachment). But expressing comments against such activities is natural and the member concerned should be accountable for his/her actions.

Has she given information to the Chair of the Commission about her activities? For what purpose had she allowed Raut to enter the Commission. Does Ansari have any relations with an INGO which allegedly supported Raut’s secessionist agendas?

When there is enough reason to suspect that a member has worked against the  integrity and unity of the nation, then the Chair of the Commission should launch a probe into the allegation and take action (if found guilty).

It is certainly not an ordinary situation that the office bearers of the Commission had to appear before the Prime Minister. But it is an indication of short sightedness and lack commitment on the parts of the human rights organizations who fail to understand that creating rifts between the Supreme Court, four parties and the government also leads to the violation of the dignity of NHRC and other Commissions.

Madhesi Youth

Madhesi Youth is a digital platform for young Nepalis to express themselves. We offer fact-based, data-driven and independent analysis on issues that affects Nepalis in general and Madhesis in particular.