Ministry set to decentralisation

BARA: Minister for Information and Communications Shankar Pokharel today said the government had adopted the policy of decentralising the activities of his ministry.

Laying the foundation stone for the building of Federation of Nepali Journalists in Bara, Pokharel said, "The welfare advertisements will be given to the print and electronic media equally."

Stating that the government believed in free press, the minister said press freedom was not the measurement of good governance. He said the government was committed to developing journalism as a respected and prestigious profession.

He also said the government had paid special attention to maintaining law and order. He called the special security strategy a bold step to curb violence in the country. Stating that the the army row was initiated by the Maoists, the minister said the President had safeguarded the constitution by correcting the mistakes of the UCPN-Maoist.

Speaking on the occasion, FNJ president Dharmendra Jha demanded an end to impunity by taking action against those involved in the killing of journalists Birendra Sah and Uma Singh. He blamed the administration of protecting the guilty. Blaming policymakers of being indifferent to the press, Jha said the security of journalists should be guaranteed.

The minister gave away Birendra Shah Memorial Journalism Award to journalist Binod Pyakurel on the occasion. Established by FNJ Bara in memory of Sah, the award carries a purse of Rs 5,001. The minister also handed over Rs 34,000, jointly collected by the FNJ and Press Chautari , to Umarawati Devi, late Sah’s wife.