Kathmandu, August 18:

President of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) Bishnu Nisthuri today said the government is holding weapons in one hand and pen in the other and threatening the free Press.

“Government should not own media,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of the fifth general meeting of the Kathmandu chapter of Nepal Press Union here today.

He further said, “Nepali media is under threat from the same persons who were there with us to fight for democracy.”

He said the international community is closely watching the situation of Nepali media.

Nisthuri said the Maoists do not believe in private media.

NPU President Murari Sharma said the Kathmandu chapter of the union should be active and play a role of guardians of all the other chapters.

“Our movement will not end unless the working journalists are liberated,” he said.

He added that the democratic forces now have a new responsibility of teaching democratic practices to the Maoists.

Former president of FNJ Taranath Dahal said, “There are 7,000 journalists in the country while 30,000 people are working in the media houses and the Nepal Press Union should work for the welfare of all these people.”

Nepali Congress central committee member Arjun Narsingh KC said the role of media, to safeguard democracy, is not less than that of a political party. “Freedom of press is the right indicator of freedom in any country.”

He was of the view that only constituent assembly election could bring about historic changes

in the country. “All the parties are working to make the Maoists move ahead in a democratic manner,” he said.