Pokharel flays gag on free Press

Pyuthan, November 12:

The central vice-chairman of the Peoples’ Front of Nepal, Lila Mani Pokharel, has said that any ruler stifling press freedom, one of the fundamental rights of the people, will not thrive for long.

Speaking at an inaugural session of a four-day programme titled Orientation on Journalism, which began here today, he came down heavily on the Supreme Court for its recent decision on the controversial media ordinance.

Nepal Press Institute (NPI) and Pyuthan Chapter of Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) are organising the orientation.

Opposing the Supreme Court’s decision on the media ordinance, Pokharel accused the court of playing second fiddle to the King in his ploy.

Stating that the Supreme Court had begun staging a drama since the dissolution of the parliament, he said the media ordinance was a part of it. The court’s judgement has raised a question as far as the conduct of the Supreme Court is concerned, he said.

Stating that an alliance could be forged with the Maoists if they corrected their ways, he, however, said there was no possibility of forging an alliance with the “dictator King” right now.

Stating that the King had stifled the press as he fears the crimes committed by him and his followers will come to light, Pokharel said the King has been suffering from “media-phobia, rights-phobia and party-phobia”.

Saying that total democracy cannot even be imagined without press freedom, a trainer of the NPI, Dharmendra Jha, urged the parties to intensify stir for total press freedom.