Most Valley colleges shut

Kathmandu, July 6, 2005

Most of the colleges in the Valley — especially those under Tribhuvan University and the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) — remained closed today as part of the educational strike called by the Nepali Language Protection Struggle Committee (NLPSC) to protest the lathicharge by policemen on its members yesterday. The strike had, however, no effect on schools. The NLPSC today organised a protest rally in front of TU Vice-Chancellor’s office, chanting slogans against manhandling of demonstrators by the police and demanded the TU to denounce the HSEB’s move. NLPSC members are the students of Nepali literature at TU. The students also organised a 15-minute sit-in in front of TU central office. Khem Prasai, a member of NLPSC, said the schools could not be closed down, as the information was disseminated late yesterday. Meanwhile, professor Dr Mana Prasad Wagley, member of the Curriculum Recommendation Committee, today tendered his resignation on moral grounds. Dr Wagley said the HSEB should have defended its move rather than blame the committee. The committee had recommended to shift compulsory Nepali to grade 12 from grade 11. Dr Wagley said he would resign from all three committees he was involved in — Subject Committee, Curriculum Committee and Long-term Perspective Plan. Meanwhile, Kamal Prasad Lal Karn, member secretary of the HSEB, said: “Curriculum development meeting on the issue could not be completed and will continue tomorrow as well.”

Journos stage protests, seek press freedom

Pokhara/Bara, July 6, 2005

Demanding press freedom, journalists staged protests in different parts of the country today, reports said. Pokhara-based journalists, rights activists, representatives of NGOs, leaders and cadres of political parties staged sit-ins outside the Western Regional Administration Office, Gandaki Zonal Administration Office, and District Administration Office today. The sit-ins were organised by the Kaski unit of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ). Immediately after the offices opened, the journalists organised the sit-ins at the Sahid Chowk, where the three offices are situated. Earlier, the protesters had shouted slogans against the government move to gag the press. Addressing a corner meeting organised after the sit-ins, the acting district president of the FNJ, Raj Bahadur Gurung, said the government would face opposition unless it stopped gagging the press. The district president of Nepal Human Rights Organisation, Khagraj Acharya, said their movement will continue unless press freedom is restored. Journalists also took out a protest rally in Kalaiya, the district headquarters of Bara, a report said.