Parties yet to respond to Dahal’s strike

Kathmandu, August 20:

It has been nine days since Birendra Dahal of HBC 94 FM started a fast-unto-death demanding an end to attacks on press, but political parties are yet to respond.

“Some major political parties, except the Maoists, have expressed solidarity with my mission. But not a single political party seems to have bothered to express commitment in writing,” Dahal, who is staging the hunger strike on the premises of the Nepal Press Council, said.

“Political parties have victimised the independent media and private organisations, hampered their regular function now and then; all that must end soon,” said Dahal, who has demanded an end to political interventions in the HBC FM and newspapers like Annapurna Post and The Himalayan Times.

The protection of media and private organisations is crucial. If political intervention continues, the country will not progress, he said.

Dahal’s health has deteriorated considerably, though he is still mobile and communicative, despite doctors’ advice to remain silent. He said that he still has power left to fight for press freedom. “I cannot carry arms to protest, but I will end up my life here if my demands are not addressed.” “This is just a beginning, I do not know the end, but I am inclined to suffer for the welfare of the nation.”