Nepal extends solidarity to struggle against AFSPA

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IMPHAL, April 19: The Nepalese Law Students’ Association (NELSA) and the Institute of Human Rights and Democracy – Nepal (IHRDN) organized a panel discussion on the topic ‘’Deceit of Democracy: Irom Sharmila’s 16 years of hunger strike against Armed Forces Special Powers Act’’ at Nepal Law Campus, Bhrikutimandap on April 18, informed a press release of Human Rights Alert.

More than a hundred law student and faculty members attended the function wherein Bishal Nyoupane, president of the NELSA welcomed the participants.

Gwangju laureate Sushil Pyakurel, the official human rights advisor to the President of Nepal, introduced the subject by recalling his personal meeting with Irom Sharmila during his solidarity visit to Manipur in 2014.

Babloo Loitongbam, director of Human Rights Alert presented the struggle for the right to life of the people of Manipur.

It said a video film ‘’Claiming Justice: Women confronting impunity in India’s North East’’ was also screened.

Eminent human rights activist Subodh Pyakurel, former chairperson of FORUM ASIA explained the emerging geo-politic trends of South Asia. According to him, India has become a region hegemonic power and therefore it is now a legitimate concern of every South Asian to see how government of India is upholding its human rights obligations.

He called upon the Nepalese civil society to support the righteous and extraordinary struggle of Sharmila.

He asserted that it is the right of the people of Manipur to live in peace and in freedom without AFSPA.

Prominent human rights lawyer, Dinesh Tripathi, who is leading the transitional justice process in post conflict Nepal, also spoke on the occasion.

He pointed out the paradox of a ‘democratic’ India continuing with an emergency law like AFSPA for more than half a century in Manipur.

He empathized that this prolonged and systematic violation of human rights is a legitimate concern of the international community and called for building up international solidarity around this issue.

The presentations were followed by a question and answer session. Different ideas were shared comparing and contrasting the human rights situation of Manipur with that of Nepal, the release said.

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