Govt, Maoists Urged to Address Rights Issues (NEPAL)
Human Rights activist Padma Ratna Tuladhar, who was a mediator in talks between the government and the Maoist earlier, on Thursday said both the sides should first address human rights issues before sitting for a new round of talks.
"The environment for a dialogue has been prepared. It seems talks can take place anytime. But I think both the parties are still not serious about a dialogue that could bear fruit," he said, adding that both the sides have not shown concern over human rights, specially on the convention that bans landmines.
Addressing an interaction on landmines, Tuladhar urged both the sides to be serious on issues related to human rights before sitting for talks. "Let this dialogue be a decisive one," he said.
According to former member of the National Human Rights Commission Prof Kapil Shrestha, even the democratic government is showing little interest in ratifying the Human Rights Convention. "We urge, appeal and direct the new government to be sincere on rights issues and show its commitment in banning landmines," he said.
Coordinator of the Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal (BLCN), Purna Shova Chitrakar, said both the government and the Maoists were found to be very careless about using landmines.
"They (landmines) are planted so carelessly that even the incoming battalion is not aware of the mines that have been placed by the outgoing unit," she said. She said billions of rupees will be needed to map and defuse the landmines scattered all over the country.
She said the country should not witness explosions of landmines and other improvised explosion devices after peace is restored.
Gopal Shivakoti of the Inhured International said land mines have not only caused public damage but also affected the country's economy and children's rights.
Von: 05.05.06 http://www.thehimalayantimes.com