Fnj convention : Working Journalist Act soon, says Mahara

Kathmandu, May 3:

The 22nd national convention of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists began in Kathmandu today amid renewed pledges from the Minister for Information and Communication to roll out the Right to Information and the Working Journalist acts soon.

Both the acts would be ready within a few days, said minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara while addressing the opening session of the convention that concludes tomorrow after electing a 27-member new leadership of the umbrella organisation of journalists across the country.

“We really wanted to have the acts in place earlier but the same could not be done due to the Constituent Assembly election,” Mahara said, adding that categorisation of newspapers would also follow soon.

He said the CPN-Maoist would go ahead on the basis of the people’s mandate with new vision, new foundation, new dreams and new conscience.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who inaugurated the two-day conference, pledged to stand by press freedom. The country could benefit in the long run if the state has a policy to respect the Press, Koirala said. “I will see my success in the success of journalists. I’m always with the press freedom and shall remain committed to it in the future as well.”

The Prime Minister also lauded the role journalists played during the people’s movement in April 2006.

Speaker Subas Nembang said the preparation for the process of the constituent assembly would be over by May 20 and nothing would stop Nepal from holding the long-awaited first meeting of the assembly.

“There are no such hurdles, as people suspect. Everything will run smoothly. We will hold the first meeting of the Assembly, turning Nepal into a democratic republic,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the entire population to successfully take the transition to a meaningful conclusion by drafting a new pro-people constitution by all means. Journalists have to play a vital role of watching if the turn of events are taking place in the right direction or not,” he said.

He said none of the parties were defeated in the Constituent Assembly election; instead all the communities belonging to different ethnicities, religions, languages and regions won the battle.

“It is the most important time in the history of Nepal. Everybody should take each step cautiously,” he added.