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Attacks on the fourth estate.

One of the victims of Maoist insurgency and King’s terrorocracy has been the fourth estate – mass media that flourished under 12 years of democracy in Nepal. From only about two daily broadsheet, one radio station, and one television station, all owned by government, Nepal has witnessed an unprecedented level of media boom. There are several daily broadsheets, news magazines, five nepali television stations, and over 40 radio stations all over the country. The beneficiary, nepali people who have benefited from competitive views, have access to local information, can watch quality television programs, and run their own radio stations. In last several years, lok-geet (folk songs) have become a mainstay (I believe largely due to FMs). But, the plurality of view-points are antithetical to autocratic King and totalitarian Maoists.

Maoists regularly threaten, kidnap and kill journalists and reporters. For Maoists, anyone who writes against their atrocities are “enemy of people”. For King anyone who doesn’t support autocracy of King is “anti-nationalist”. And, the King’s government is terrorizing the journalist community more systematically as the free press has declined to vouch for King’s February 1st coup. Thus, King appointed royalist officials, including VP Tulsi Giri, regrets the freedom Nepal’s constitution guarantees to the press. If it were possible, Giri wants to shut down Kantipur publication (and all medias, if they don’t agree to be his parrot) with the cloak of constitution rule but fortunately, the almost dead constitution of 1990 has some power. When the legal way doesn’t work royalist display their true nature as did Pralahd Shah in Biratangar. He threatened , “Kantipur publication may face a repeat of devastation of September 1” (read news: Kantipur Threatened Again ).

That’s nothing compared to the horror of Bhai Kaji Shrestha, a journalist of Samadristi Monthly, he was picked by plain clothed army personnel and tortured for months in inhumane conditions. He was alleged to be a Maoist cadre because he supported constitution assembly in his writings. To demand to exercise people’s right, now, has become a synonym to being Maoists (Read his heart wrenching tale of torture Pandra Mahina pachhi Akash Niyalada).

Again, another journalist is accused of being on the payroll of Maoists – Harihar Ratuhar, a respected name, who has dared to report from Maoists heartland for years. According to the Rising Nepal, government owned English language daily, he is allegedly on Maoists payroll according to government owned Rising Nepal (Read Rahaur’s Rebuttal ). Today, he was arrested by the government forces. One needn’t guess what he might be subjected into.

There is no question that Nepal’s royalist want nothing but monopoly over state and people. If they cannot win with coercion alone they won’t hesitate to use force, and by force they want to subjugate Nepali people, as has been done for centuries.

Comments

Anonymous said…
"King appointed royalist officials, including VP Tulsi Giri, regrets the freedom Nepal’s constitution guarantees to the press. If it were possible, Giri wants to shut down Kantipur publication (and all medias, if they don’t agree to be his parrot) with the cloak of constitution rule but fortunately, the almost dead constitution of 1990 has some power."

Shisir, you are proved right again, by the new ordinance modifying several acts relating to the media, which increase the fines against journalists who criticise the king or his family or his government.
(See http://insn.org/?p=2036 )

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