Media facing hard times, say journos

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, May 25:

Speakers at an interaction here today said the Nepali press is facing tough times.

At the programme organised by Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), Kaski, central vice-president of FNJ Ganagadhar Parajuli said the freedom of Nepali journalists has been suppressed after the February 1 royal proclamation.

Parajuli urged all journalists to take part in the agitation called by FNJ for press freedom and democracy.

Parajuli asked journalists to oppose the proposed ordinance aimed at curtailing the rights of journalists.

President of the Broadcasting Association Nepal, Shivalal Malla Shahi said it was the FM radios which have been the worst affected by the royal proclamation.

Human rights activist Teknath Baral said there remained no space for democracy at a time when the press is suppressed. He added that symptoms of autocracy were gaining ground in

the country.

Somraj Thapa, INSEC coordinator for the western region, said at least 600 Nepalis have been killed after February 1.

Meanwhile, speakers at an interaction on democracy and press freedom in Chitwan accused the government of trying to harass journalists. Central member of the FNJ, Bishnu Chhimeki said the government was trying to launch activities to discourage the journalists. President of FNJ, Chitwan, Janaklal Aryal, representatives of the civil society, human rights activists and lawyers spoke in favour of restoration of peace and democracy in the country.