Nepal | September 26, 2020

PM cements information gag order

Rewati Sapkota
Share Now:

Kathmandu, November 15

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today warned his Cabinet colleagues not to reveal Cabinet decisions until the government spokesperson did so.

In today’s Cabinet meeting, the PM reminded his colleagues that the last Cabinet meeting had decided that only Minister of Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, who is the government spokesperson, would reveal Cabinet decisions to the media.

Baskota organised a press conference after today’s Cabinet meeting, but said nothing about Cabinet decisions, saying he would hold a press conference every week to reveal Cabinet decisions to the press after a week, a move the National Human Rights Commission has opposed.

After the last Cabinet meeting, some ministers had briefed the press about some key decisions, drawing the ire of the PM.

“The underlying message of the PM to his Cabinet colleagues today was to ‘open your eyes and ears but shut your mouth,” a minister told THT.

“Cabinet decisions will not be revealed before 48 hours. Sometimes Cabinet decisions don’t mature within 24 hours,” Baskota told mediapersons. He said if journalists succeeded to get information on Cabinet decisions that would be considered investigative journalism and they would not be punished for that.

Baskota said he would hold press briefings every Thursday in the presence of spokespersons for all ministries to reveal the previous week’s Cabinet decisions.

Member of the National Human Rights Commission and former justice of Supreme Court Prakash Osti told THT: “The constitution ensures citizens’ right to information. The government’s decision to hide information from the public for a week is against the spirit of the constitution. People will seek to know about Cabinet decisions the same day,” he said.

He said the government needed to rethink its decision to keep Cabinet decisions under wraps for a week in the context of constitutional guarantee of the right to information. “The government can only keep classified information secret,” he added.

On a different note, Baskota said there was no alternative for the provincial governments but to accept the executive order issued by the federal government regarding mobilisation of police up to the sub-inspector level.

 


A version of this article appears in print on November 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Abiding by COVID-19 curbs, Australian school kids protest in opposition to gas

SYDNEY: Thousands of Australian students on Friday protested to demand investment in renewable-energy projects, though COVID-19 restrictions confined the events to small gatherings and online activism. About 500 protests were held across Australia, with other demonstrations expected worldwide o Read More...

India Cricket, Cricket, Anil Kumble, India coach

Punjab spinner Bishnoi lauds Kumble influence

Kings XI Punjab spinner Ravi Bishnoi hailed the influence of head coach Anil Kumble after he and fellow wristspinner Murugan Ashwin picked up three wickets each to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs in the Indian Premier League on Thursday. The Challengers boast batsmen of the calibr Read More...

One-Day International Series, India, Australia, Kane Richardson

Australia's Afghanistan test, one-day series v New Zealand postponed

MELBOURNE:  Australia's one-off test against Afghanistan and one-day series against New Zealand have been postponed to the 2021-22 season due to scheduling "complexity" during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia (CA) said on Friday. Australia were to play their first home test against A Read More...

SKorean boyband BTS cancels October concert over coronavirus

SEOUL: K-pop boyband BTS cancelled on Friday a concert set for October in the South Korean capital of Seoul as authorities battle a stream of new coronavirus infections, imposing tougher curbs ahead of a surge in travel during a key autumn holiday. This month, BTS became the first Korean pop Read More...

AstraZeneca gets partial immunity in low-cost EU vaccine deal

EU states to pay part of legal bill in case of problems AstraZeneca got partial waiver for low vaccine price Sanofi not granted a cost cap as price is higher: source BRUSSELS: European governments will pay claims above an agreed limit against AstraZeneca over side-effects from its pot Read More...

Greta Thunberg and youth climate protests make a return

STOCKHOLM: Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg is back. She joined fellow demonstrators outside the Swedish Parliament on Friday to kick off a day of socially distanced global climate protests. "The main hope is, as always, to try to have an impact on the level of awareness and public o Read More...

South Korea govt proposes reforms in EPS regulations

SEOUL: The government of South Korea has presented a proposal in parliament through the Ministry of Labour to amend some points in the existing regulations to revise Employment Permit System (EPS) laws. As per the proposed laws, the worker who has changed the place of work can easily get re-emplo Read More...

Nepal Police Sub Inspector found dead in Darchula

DHANGADHI: A personnel of Nepal Police was found dead in Mahakali Municipality of Darchula district in the wee hours of Friday. The deceased has been identified as Sub Inspector (SI) Dhruba Rawal. SI Rawal was found unconscious on the floor of a hotel toilet at around 4am. He was rushed to the Read More...