Nepal government faces trouble over violence probe report


Kathmandu : Nepal's eight-party government is likely to face fresh trouble next week when it finally makes public a controversial report on the probe into the killing of 25 unarmed protesters during the King Gyanendra regime's last days in power.

Support TwoCircles

Though the Rayamajhi Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Krishna Jung Rayamajhi, submitted its report almost eight months ago, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's government has neither made it public nor taken action against any of the royalist officials found guilty of trying to put down anti-king protests by force.

The commission report is believed to be explosive and has triggered a growing controversy though it is still under wraps.

It is believed that the commission, which questioned King Gyanendra's ministers and sent a questionnaire to the king himself though he ignored it, has recommended stern action against the royal cabinet, top brass of the army including the current and past army chiefs, and the king himself.

The commission was formed soon after the fall of King Gyanendra's 15-month government in April 2006.

However, though the government formed another committee, headed by former deputy prime minister K.P. Oli, to take action against the offenders named by the commission, both the commission report and the committee were swept under the carpet.

Oli and Rayamajhi fuelled the controversy by crossing swords about the offenders.

Oli says the commission let King Gyanendra, who seized power through an army-backed coup, go scot-free without recommending any punishment. However, Rayamajhi says the king has been held accountable for the misdeeds of his regime.

There has been growing public fear that the commission report would go unheeded like an earlier one, the Mallik Commission report, which too highlighted the misdeeds of an earlier regime.

Indeed, many of the perpetrators against whom the Mallik Commission had recommended action played a strong role in upholding King Gyanendra's regime and have been said to be indicted by the Rayamajhi Commission as well.

Nepal's MPs had been mounting pressure on Koirala to table the Rayamajhi Commission report.

Though the prime minister continued to disregard the demand, the speaker Tuesday ordered the government to disclose the document at the earliest.

Finally, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula Saturday told parliament the report would be disclosed by Wednesday.

Fireworks are likely in either possibility – if it the commission has recommended action against the king and if it hasn't.

If it has, the government will face flak for trying to shield the king and not taking any action even in eight months.

If it hasn't, Koirala will draw public ire for failing to provide justice to the 25 people who were killed by security forces while protesting against the royal regime during the pro-democracy movement last year that brought Koirala to power again.