Before being appointed to the Nepalese Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Shree Krishna Subedi was President of an organization called Public Interest Law Advocacy and Litigation (PILAL), as well as serving as a founding member of Young Lawyers for Human Rights in his country. A member of the Nepalese Bar Association, Mr. Krishna Subedi previously served as Executive Director of an NGO – INHURED International – where he coordinated a Comprehensive Peace Agreement monitoring project, tracking the implementation of the national peace agreement across the country. He attended AIPR’s 2016 Global Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, held in Poland.
Which actions and/or policies do you feel are the most effective in the long-term prevention of mass atrocities?
Inclusive institutions and practices are the bedrock foundation for the long-term prevention of mass atrocities. The principles behind them have the potential to materialize people’s participation, the representation of marginalized groups, as well ensuring, to some extent, the equal distribution of income and resources. Likewise, social justice should be promoted and used as a tool to ensure people’s human rights.
How does the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission fit into Nepal’s efforts to address past political conflicts and human rights violations?
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is a method of “downstream prevention”, which includes measures for Transitional Justice and for dealing with the past, as in any country. In Nepal, the TRC has a mandate to recommend reparations for victims as well as the prosecution of human rights violators, the investigation of facts concerning gross violations of human rights and crimes against humanity during the course of armed conflict. Beyond this, the TRC is tasked with creating an environment conducive to reconciliation in society.
The TRC has the ability to submit a report to the government of Nepal, which would include a set of tailored recommendations. This would function to help Nepal in the construction of peace and harmony in society, thereby encouraging the materialization of a transformation of the conflict. Furthermore, it will help by creating a precedent against impunity and towards the reinforcement of standard human rights norms and increase access to justice for victims.
Who or what motives you and inspires you in your work?
I have seen the conflict of Nepal closely. There were multiple causes, in terms of social, economic, and psychological factors, as well as several others. After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed, people expected a sustainable peace but there were still many things to be done in order to for this to materialize. One of them was the implementation of measures for truth and reconciliation in society.
Before and after being a member of the TRC, I always have thoughts of a harmonious society – one where people have the chance to live freely and enjoy their freedom. Thus, I would say that the human nature of freedom and the intrinsic feeling of a just society both inspire and motivate me in doing my work. Of course, the pain and agony experienced by people during the period of insurgency put me in miserable condition. However, in order to overcome this state and to foster the realization of a life with hope and dreams, I remain inspired by the thousands of such feelings and the faces of the victims.
For you personally, what was the most important element of your visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau and time at the Lemkin Seminar?
I was perplexed and excited at the same time and felt as though I was filled with mixed emotions while visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau. The horror of death camps became more apparent as I got chance to see the disturbing history.
At first, I felt scared and nervous, continuing to stroll from room to room. Likewise, I was terrified at the thought of the destruction that a single evil can do to the entirety of human civilization. While viewing the photos and memorials I was deeply moved by the feelings of the victims and survivors of Holocaust, which history witnessed so sorrowfully.