KATHMANDU: The first national conference of the Kirant Rai Journalist Association Nepal has elected a 21-member executive committee under the leadership of Padam Rai.

The conference was participated by some 60

representatives and observers from 10 district committees from the eastern region and the Kathmandu Valley. The meet also decided to demand a Kirant Autonomous State.

Addressing the inaugural session of the conference, Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) president Dharmendra Jha said language, ethnicity and culture of the indigenous nationalities should be promoted by journalists. He added that the FNJ has amended its statute to incorporate many

of the journalists from the indigenous nationalities. Laldhwoj Deosa Rai, founder of Mass Communication and Journalism Department, Tribhuvan University, also attended the meet.

The meet has also made amendments to the statute of the KRJA and decided to establish a contact office in the Kirant State. The meet also agreed to amend the statute accordingly in future.

Meanwhile, general

secretary of Kirant Rai Yayokkha Chandra Bikram Rai claimed that issues of indigenous nationalities have been misinterpreted by various media because of the low representation of indigenous nationalities in mainstream journalism.

The newly elected body includes vice-presidents Rajesh Chamling and Janak Rishi Rai, general secretary Bhadragol Kiranti, secretaries Dipendra Rai and Menukala Rai and treasurer Basanta Rai. Gajurdhan Rai, Arjun Jumneli Rai, Ashok Rai, Shelly Rai, Diwas Rai, Deurali Chamling, Shreeshisha Rai, Sachit Rai, Khushi Rai, Samala Rai, Sanchar Kiranti, Nagendra Rai, Daman Rai and Kumbha Raj Rai are the members.