Closed-door session put off

Elections to be delayed

Kathmandu, May 3:

The closed-door session of the 22nd convention of Federation of Nepali Journalists was put off after efforts till late night today to pass the financial report of the federation failed to materialise. The session could not approve the report after a few factions accused the federation of corruption.

Despite repeated requests, FNJ president and general secretary remained absent from the session while the treasurer claimed that the report was based on the executive committee’s decision.

After around two hours of heated discussions, boycotts and hooting, the chairman of the session, former FNJ president Suresh Acharya, declared the session adjourned until further notice at around at 10:40 pm.

Acharya said the election scheduled for tomorrow would be held only after forming a committee to probe into the alleged financial irregularities. Many of the protesters accused FNJ of lacking transparency in expenditure. Besides this, other issues also fuelled the protests.

The new system of providing seats to women, Janajatis, Madhesis and Dalits through separate polls was flayed by many, saying the system only brought rivalry among the mediapersons from the same community, even as the previous system too had provisions to nominate representatives of these groups to the central committee.

Journalists from the Karnali region even threatened to boycott the general convention, saying that the new provision has neglected the region.

President Bishnu Nisthuri had to beg an apology for not being sensitive to the Karnali region. A group of journalists were seen demonstrating against the present voting system of FNJ and was collecting signatures for a direct voting system.

Another group was carrying placards that called for a participation of only journalists in the convention. The group said many non-journalists have been selected as representatives in districts and in Valley.

A total of around 1,050 representatives representing over 6,000 journalists across the country are taking part in the two-day convention that will elect a new 27-member central committee. Around 100 candidates are contesting for different posts.

Presenting the annual report, general secretary Mahendra Bista stressed on need to guarantee professional and job security of journalists.

“Working journalists are still victims of physical and professional insecurity. Most of them are working without appointment letters, guarantee of their jobs, fixed salary and provision of promotion,” he said. He called a review in the working journalists’ movements in different media houses.

Presenting financial report, treasurer Hemanta Kafle said FNJ spent Rs 1.94 million from its regular account during this fiscal year.

The FNJ also mobilised resources worth more than Rs 38 million during the past three years. The FNJ now has Rs 1.93 million in its Journalist Welfare Fund.