Truth or Dare For Nepal

In NY Times today, Soumini Sengupta writes about the world of change Nepal has undergone since Kind Gyanendra gave up power. I wasn't a great fan of the King, and his absolute power, and I wasn't a great fan of Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal), the maoist gurrilla leader whose followers committed untold attrocities on the Nepali people who didn't agree with them. Yet, when the Maoist agreed to form a new government with the Opposition politicians, I applauded them.

It appears that so far things have been moving in the right direction. Recently Pushpa Kamal Dahal was in New Delhi trying to sell the Indians on how the Nepalese People's Army had laid down arms and were reconciled to peaceful co-existence with the Koirala government.

Now that the easy part of forming a government is over, the tough part of holding people accountable to the crimes begins. in this regard, I wonder what was given up by the opposition in bringing the Maoist to the table. As Sengupta reports. there is little effort being made to bringing the perpeterators of heinous crimes to justice. There is some talk about establishing a truth and reconcilliation commission similar to the South African experience, but the will seems to be lacking.

If the Nepali government cannot find the will to bring the criminals to justice, then despite all the progress, this will be a step in the wrong direction. It is up to the new Nepali government that the attrocities of the past 10 years do not go unaccounted. Its the least they can do to represent the poor and powerless they seem to want to represent.
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