Journos want news ban lifted

Kathmandu, August 6:

Calling on the government to lift its ban on Nepal FM and let FM stations broadcast news, journalists and human right activists took out a rally from Kupondole this morning. The protest rally converged into a corner meeting in Kalimati. Speakers at the meeting urged the government to restore press freedom and withdraw bans imposed on FM stations across the country. Raghu Mainali, the president of the Community Radio Broadcasters’ Association of Nepal, prmoised to give continuity to protest programmes unless the government relents.

“Come what may, we will not stop our protest against the government’s ban on FM news broadcast,” Mainali said.

Professor Mathura Prasad Shrestha lambasted the government for barring FM stations from broadcasting news and assured the FM operators that the civil society will support their cause.

Last week, the Ministry of Information and Communications had sent a letter to the Rainbow FM, seeking its explanation as to why it had resumed news broadcast, notwithstanding the ban on news broadcast. After the February 1 royal takeover, the government had decided to bar FM stations from broadcasting news for a period of six months. Though six months have passed, the ban has not been lifted yet.