His Excellency Ambassador
Embassy of United States of America
Panipokhari, Kathmandu

Subject: Memorandum on Present Human Rights Situation of Nepal

Your Excellency,

As your Excellency is well acquainted with the present deteriorating human right situation of Nepal. We hope, you might have taken it as rather a matter of common concern for every section, who is sincerely well wisher of Nepalese people. HURON, which is from very beginning involved in the protection of the Human Rights, has recently made an overall observation of the gross human rights violations in the kingdom and is trying to share ideas on our findings, so that we can reach at a logical end of the situation.

Since the declaration of emergency on 27 November 2001, HURON has been serious by concerned that the innocent civilians and the non combatant be unharmed. HURON has frequently appealed both the Moist and State to respect the international humanitarian laws for the sake of human dignity even in the time of armed conflict and comply with all the human rights norms and values in practice.

Nepalese citizen at large, who are extremely worried and anxious about the on going violations and abuses of the human rights especially in the wake of Maoist insurgency for a last six years, foreseeing a termination of the current political mess for good. But, on the contrary number of the cases of disappearances, extra judicial killing, arbitrary detentions, abduction and torture became routine. After the imposition of emergency the situation has worsened, civil rights have been curtailed and access to first hand information has denied. We believe, for the benefit of democracy there should be an ease in present situation as soon as possible, and for the said cause positive contributions from every walks of the life is expected.

We, the human rights communities in Nepal have made great endeavor on our part to prevent the situation ever since the symptom of the insurgency was evident. On the initiation of the human rights activists there were three rounds of dialogue between the Maoist and the State to find the amicable solution of the problem. But, as unilaterally the Maoist disowned the process (on November 21, 2001) the threat of violence has once again widen and guarantee for peaceful livelihood for citizen is largely subsided. It made us agonized as to whether the deteriorating situation ultimately would push the kingdom towards a civil war for indefinite time.

By the time of six years, the conflict has badly affected entire segments of the national life, including education, industry, communication, tourism industry, various development activities and lately the infrastructure. As the outcome of on going conflicts it ahs ultimately alleviated rights to life and opportunity of enjoying fundamental civil and political rights to economic, cultural and even rights to development. A large section of population, marginalized and ignored for years are being strangled in multiple forms if violence and squeezed to live in a pathetic situation depriving them of all basic needs of life. Insecurity and threat if violence have badly abated economic opportunities which made rise in greater number of unemployment, while hunger and poverty have been area (matter) of a grave concern at present, which has to be addressed in no time.

Your Excellency, HURON which has made effort to evaluate an overall national scenario, recently, has revealed multifarious fronts posing threat the basic human rights of the commoners in the country. And, we feel our sincere obligation to draw your kind attention in this regard.

  • Despite Nepal being one of the least developed countries in the world, it has made significant stride in education, health and other social service sectors, particularly for last decade. But, the human development index in Nepal stagnated to the lowest position in the world. The recently published Nepal Human Development Report-2001 and global Human Development Report -2001 both revealed fact. Nepal's levels of Human development are low even by South Asian standards as its HDI values ranks 0.480, slight above Bhutan (0.477) and Bangladesh (0.470). It clearly shows that Nepal's attempt for 'decent living status' of Nepalese people is still a far cry. Even if there occurred some development activities in the country in the past they were urban based. The comparative HDI of different ecological regions also reveal these facts. The HDI of mid and far western region presents very disappointing facts and figures as these areas are totally negated from the mainstream development activities. Moreover, the broad scattering communities in the areas sharply limit access to service and information and severely disadvantage the people living there.
    In retrospect, we find that the social injustice and economic disparities contributed social tensions and conflict in Nepalese societies in many a time. Though Nepal was deliberately kept in total isolation for more than a century by the autocratic regime in the past, it did no remain unaffected by the wave of the strong will of the people around the world for the independence in the past Second World War period.
    And consequently in 1951 Nepal definitely attained freedom from the autocratic rule, but Nepalese people at large remained yet to be freed from disgusting plight, the poverty, even after about half a century of the end of autocratic regime. Instead, the vicious circle of poverty escalated so much so that Nepal ranked the second poorest country in the world and nearly 70 percent of the people lay below poverty line by 1995.
    Against this socio-economic spectrum, we strongly believe that poverty lies at roots as the cause of various social tensions. The Maoist insurgency which began in 1996 perhaps is a political reflection of said social realities. If one seriously verifies the various reports that attempted to scrutiny every pro and cons of the insurgent movement one finds that apart from itself being a political problem it is at the same time very much related with socio-economic problems, which was the resulted from the failure to address the peoples grievances by any or the so called peoples' government formed subsequent to 1951. Unless poverty is elevated with a top priority any social resentment will hardly cease.

  • A figure prepared and calculated by some institutions presents a gloomy picture. 
    The country as to the recent economic status of the nation as result of the insurgency.
    The export of Nepalese products, as per the record of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce, declined by 15% after the insurgency erupted and 60% after the declaration of emergency. Similarly, a data of the Nepal Industry and Commerce and Association shows that the export of Nepalese carpet declined by 26% and that of ready made garments by 43%. The data of the Hotel Association of Nepal reveals that only 5 to 10% of hotel accommodation was being occupied. Likewise, a record of PABSON (Private and Boarding School Association of Nepal) presents a very disappointing figure of nearly 4000 teachers being unemployed and 500 school all over Nepal closed down aftermath the insurgency.

  • The Central Bureau of Statistic with the recent census revealed that the number of landless farmers rose ten times in a decade to 5.1 million by 2001. Similarly, conflict have adversely affected a large number if youth labor force to leave native place for foreign lands seeking economic opportunities and trend is intensified after imposition of emergency in the country. Unless the state party ensures basic socio-economic rights for the affected groups with massive economic majors creating more new jobs, it would be rather an absurd to expect permanent peace and stability.

  • Nepal as a least developed and small country which has less chances intervening most competitive global market by its own efforts. So, to secure its economic viability the international should extend their obligation ensuring safe market facilities for the Nepalese products with out any hurdles. Allocation of quotas for exporting Nepalese products such as garments and carpet is considered more pragmatic in this regard. With extension of its exporting market Nepal will not only sustain its economy but will help to enable economic growth in near future.

  • Revenue generated by the tourism industry covered major portion of Nepalese national economy for last several decades, at present this sector is facing a hardship since the state confronted with insurgency, As there is a great slanginess in he industry it has not only adversely affected in generation of national revenue but also threatened a large number of employers from respective sectors loosing their jobs for sine die. In this regard, whereas ensuring peace and safety is required at its minimum at the same time the global community could also promote their native follows to choose their destination as the Himalayan Kingdom.

  • It is disastrous and torturous that Nepal being a birthplace of the Lord Buddha, the apostle of peace, violence has been prevailing every where in the country for the last six years. But, with regret, we do admit that unheard outcry and plea for peace is futile as long as sources of crisis and conflict remain ignored. It is unambiguous, a conflict management is not only a question of security concern it is also a very much pragmatic approach towards broad spectrum of socio-economic equity. In fine, we appeal for the reopening of dialogue between the State and insurgents group for seeking a permanent peace and stability. And sincerely hope that none of the concerned sector will be lagging behind playing their affirmative role for inspection of an amicable solution.

Besides, to crop esteemed circumstances, once again we assert with the concerned parties to uphold the International Humanitarian laws and Geneva conventions and other internationals norms and values of the basic human rights principles.

Your Excellency, we are very hopeful that you will seriously take into account the issues of common concerned we propagated. HURON would like to appeal to hold Your Excellency in high esteem for your commitment to the human rights and anticipate further cooperation for the cause of the human rights in time to come as well.

12 July 2002