Clarifications sought from Radio Nepal chief Karki

  • Asked why and how he allowed invectives against PM
  • Told to justify his performance

Kathmandu, April 28

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has sought clarification from Executive Director of state owned Radio Nepal Suresh Kumar Karki, over his efficiency and a recent interview with former prime minister and Samajwadi Janata Party-Nepal leader Baburam Bhattarai.

Bhattarai, who was a guest on a live radio talk show called ‘Antarsambad’ hosted by its news chief Nawaraj Lamsal yesterday, had termed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli a Bhasmasur, a Hindu demon king having the power to reduce anyone to ashes. In the interview, he had also appealed to all and sundry to erase him from the history of Nepal in response to Oli’s move promulgating two controversial ordinances.

Under mounting pressure from the government, Karki had removed the interview from Radio Nepal’s archive and issued a public apology for the language used by Bhattarai against Oli. However, the public apology was not enough and the MoICT sought two separate clarifications from Karki for itself and the Council of Ministers.

A letter seeking clarification from the MoICT refers to its objection to the interview with Bhattarai, while another letter questions Karki’s ‘below the mark performance’ as executive director of the state-owned media. “You are requested to furnish clarification within three days as to why and how you invited former prime minister Bhattarai to the live radio programme in which he used invectives and slanderous language against Prime Minister Oli,” read yesterday’s letter from the MoICT.

Another letter sent on behalf of the Council of Ministers today has served Karki one week to furnish clarification on the level of his performance. The Council of Ministers has accused him of failing to meet the annual targets of Radio Nepal as per the performance contract he entered into with MoICT Secretary Deepak Subedi. The question regarding his efficiency has been viewed as an excuse for the government to sack Karki from the post over the live interview with Bhattarai.

“In addition, you didn’t fix the minimum rental rate of 42 ropani land owned by Lalitpur-based Khumaltar Transmitting Station of Radio Nepal in line with the prevailing market price while renting it out to various organisations. It seems you, as executive director of

Radio Nepal, are not working in the interest of the state-owned corporation. Therefore, you are requested to submit your clarifications on these issues within seven days,” read the letter issued on behalf of the Council of Ministers.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 29, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.