Symposium On Nepal without Constitution and Constituent Assembly: The issue of Landmines, Improvised Explosive Devises and Small Arms
On June 22nd, 2012 NCBL organized and hosted a symposium to address the issue of landmines, Improvised Explosive Devises and Small Arms at the Bar Association in Kathmandu.
Guest speakers included Chief Guest Speaker from Human Rights Commission – Mr. Gauri Pradhan, Superintendent of Armed Police Force – Mr. Behan Yadav, Inspector of Armed Police Force – Mr. Pramatma Jyoti Adhikari, Superintendent of Nepal Police – Mr. Kedar Rijal, Deputy Head of Delegation – Mr. Jerome Fontana, Representative from INSEC – Prasanata Wasti, Representative from Search for Common Ground – Pradip Pariyar.
The Master of Ceremonies included, Mines Action Canada Program Officer – Nelupa Wijesundera.
The symposium was held to serve as a platform to address issues of landmine and other explosive devices and small arms, and also provide opportunity to exchange ideas of possible solutions.
The meeting commenced with a few words from Ms. Kamala Shrestha General Secretary of NCBL who acted as Chair for the symposium. Following her speech was the lighting of the Panas lamp by Chief Guest Speaker Mr. Gauri Pradhan.
Inspector of Nepal Armed Force Police – Mr. Pramatma Jyoti Adikari took the podium to speak on mine clearance and arms smuggling. Mr. Adikari stated that security forces have cleared all IED fields that were kept during the conflict. He further mentioned that security forces take great measures to prevent armed conflict by keeping detailed records, manual checking fields, establishing security check points, and enforcing bans on arms smuggling.
Superintendent of Nepal Police – Mr. Kedar Rijal also spoke on the issue of arms and explosives smuggling and the misuse of open boarders in the south. From their investigation they discovered that organized crime rings are purchasing small arms from India at four to five thousand rupees a piece and selling them in Nepal for approximately 40 to 50 thousand rupees. This demonstrates the large profit margin that exists to gain from youth involved in crime. Furthermore, organized crime is increasing and placing threats and demands on local authority and communities. He mentioned to apply 3 P- Police, Public, Partnership to stop explosive and small arms problem.
Mr. Jerome Fontana from the ICRC stated about the activities taken by ICRC on MRE.
Pradip Pariyar from Search For Common Ground emphasized that women and children are the ones who are most affected from violence due to small arms.
Prasanata Wasti provided statistics from 2011 stating that out of 22 armed violence incidentses there were 33 survivors.
Ms. Purna Shova Chitrakar had this to say in regards to eliminating landmines, IEDs and small arms, “the government must listen to the people’s voice and accede to the Ottawa Treaty. Political leaders should concentrate on achieving political stability. To end the uncertain political situation it is required that the Constituent Assembly is reinstalled for a short-term.”
Lastly, Chief Guest Speaker Mr. Gauri Pradhan made some recommendations to ratify the Ottawa Treaty. He stated that the government must implement the recommendations of NHRC. He also stated that the government should apply the three P’s – Prevention, Protection and Projection for human security.
Attendees at the symposium included, student organizations, lawyers, journalists, representatives from NGOs and INGOs, political parties, and youth groups.
Several media outlets also attended and documented the symposium such as, Ujyalo, RSS, Nepali Times, Mirest Nepal, Xinhua News Agency – TV, AV News – TV, Channel Nepal TV, Nepalhani Radio, Nepalhani Network.
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