Nepal government condemns UK Police Charges on Kumar Lama

Nepal Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha
Nepal's Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha - Photo: AFP

So the unnamed Nepali Man arrested by the UK police has been revealed to be former Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama who was currently deployed in the UN Peace Mission in Sudan. The officer was in London on his Christmas/New Year leave in order to meet his wife, a nurse by profession.

Kumar Lama has been charged with two offences of torture for which the Nepal Government has summoned the UK ambassador in Kathmandu to protest. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha have strongly objected to arrest of Lama. “The ambassador has assured to immediately convey our protest to his government. He [the envoy] has said that he won´t be able to tell me on other things. They have claimed that Lama was arrested as per their laws. But we have made our position clear,” Shrestha told in a press met after handing a protest note to the UK ambassador seeking immediate release of Kumar Lama.

Nepal Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha with Ban kiMoon
Nepal Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha with Ban kiMoon – File Image – UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Kumar Lama, 46, who was arrested yesterday by the UK police has been accused of intentionally inflicting “severe pain or suffering” on Janak Bahadur Raut between April 15 and May 1, 2005, and on Karam Hussain between April 15 and October 31, 2005 according to a statement released by the metropolitan police. He will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

While British authorities claimed “universal jurisdiction” law to prosecute Kumar Lama; authorities in Nepal have said the arrest of Lama without prior information to the government goes against the international law and the “general principle of the jurisdiction of a sovereign country”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal has also directed the Embassy of Nepal in UK to hand over the protest note to UK government seeking release of Colonel Lama.

My take on the News Story:

I think our ministers should stop talking more and start doing as little as they can. The rising impunity in the country cannot be justified by any means. When the international law takes over, our minister has said that “preparations were under way to form a transitional justice mechanism in consensus with all political parties and Nepal government is committed to safeguarding and promoting human rights. ” Well if that was the case, I don’t think victims should have taken support of the UK law.

The truth is that our ministers failed to create credible transitional justice mechanisms to several human rights violence including torture, disappearance, abduction, rape and killing within the country over the past years after the decade long civil war came to an end in 2006.

Our country people have lost faith in our government laws and systems and it’s not surprising to hear from the victim saying that he expects to get justice from UK law that he didn’t get from his country.

This is not a mistake Narayan Kaji Shrestha, “the arrest is warning to those accused of serious crimes in Nepal that they cannot hide from the law forever” as precisely put forward by Human Rights watch. This is a warning to you (former Maoist rebels) and other the then state security forces that were involved in those UN recorded 2,500+ cases of torture. Beware!

Also do read my analysis on the news story – Nepali Citizen Arrested in the UK for Alleged War Crimes published on global voices.

What’s your view on the issue?


  1. कैदीहरुलाई कानुनी कारबाही नगरी यातना दिने यस्ता मान्छेहरुलाई सजाय हुनु जरुरि छ

  2. KAPILVASTU, JAN 05 – A day after London’s Scotland Yard took a Nepal Army (NA) colonel into custody on the charge of overseeing extrajudicial detention and torture of a man during the conflict era, the detainee in question has emerged to share the ordeal he suffered.

    Janak Bahadur Raut, 38, from Shivapur-1 of Kapilvastu said he was captured by the then joint security force on the morning of April 15, 2005. He was kept at the Chandrauta-based Armed Police Force’s (APF) Bindabasini Battalion for one day and transported to the NA’s Shiva Dal Barracks in Gorusinghe. He remained in detention for 17 days and during the period he was subjected to extreme torture .

    “Bound and blindfolded, they inflicted electric shocks on me to the point that I lost my senses,” Raut said. “I was captured because I was related to Bala Thapa, who was then the local leader of the Maoist People’s Government.”

    With the support of Advocacy Forum, Raut had lodged a case against his tormentors at the district court on June 26, 2007. The hearing took place on January 27, 2008, wherein the court convicted Col Kumar Lama in the case and ordered the government to pay Rs 75,000 to Raut in compensation and initiate disciplinary action against the guilty NA official.

    More than six years since the incident, the court verdict has yet to be implemented, Raut claimed.

    “I did not receive the compensation and Lama did not face any action. I sent many appeals to the government, to no avail, in the regard.”

    The district court had written to the Defence Ministry some four years ago, asking it to initiate disciplinary action against Col Lama. According to Raut, the ministry had responded that Col Lama had gone to the UK for study and that it would take up the case upon his return two years later.

    “That day never came. I was denied justice in my own country,” said Raut. via ekantipur

  3. thats very good step. these army, police and the maoist had troubled nepalese people a lot during home war. Many others must be still handled in this way, coz nepali government has done nothing in this matter.

  4. Punishment is not allowed in Nepal only promotion. I think it is good step. I like this step . Even some US president don’t visit spain and Germany due to some actions like this. So it is very good step . I like this. In nepal no law and order.

  5. नेपाली हरु लै स्वत्रन्त्र वयेरा बच्ने कुनै अधिकार छैन l नेपाली हरु को स्थान संसार मा वेडाबर्खा सरि छन् l उनि हरु लै जे गरे पनि हुन्छ l नेपाल को सर्ववुमिकता हस्सो को बिसय हो खैरे हरु को लागि l राडा कल देखि अहिले सम्म देश को समाप्ति लुटेरा बेलायत मा पोलिटिकल सरनाथी बानेर बसेको देशद्रोही कति छन् कति , सोझा साझा नेपाली छोरा छोरी हरु लै मारेर बेलायत मा हाई क्लास जिबन बिताउने हरु पनि प्रसस्तै छन् बेलायत मा …खोइ त बेलायत को युनिवार्सल जुर्रक्दिक्सन ??? .. बक्वाश !!

  6. what about the IRA killings?? Perhaps the world should start taking it more seriously! All those IRA men whom have lost their lives should appeal to the nepalese court perhaps!

  7. To jump to a conclusion on a mans life and his pride is uncalled for. To be thrilled on a family sorrow is unjustified. The civil war brought a lot of pain and suffering amongst all Nepali people. It devastated the country and we still have not progressed or revived from those years. What we should do now is to educate and develop a system where we can stand up to a country when a man who has spent decades of his life fighting for his country. Who are we to judge a mans credibility when we weren’t there when the alleged crimes too place we didn’t witness any of it. So before commenting on a mans life you should take a hard look at yourselves and ask WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MAKE THINGS BETTER?

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