THT 10 YEARS AGO: THT, AP functioning disrupted; over 30 held

Kathmandu, August 14, 2007

Maoist-aligned trade union workers today disrupted the printing and distribution of The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post for the fourth consecutive day.

They also prevented the printing and dispatch staff from entering the office premises in Bhaisepati this morning. Some 30 protesting Maoist aligned union workers organised a corner meeting at APCA House in Anamnagar and threatened to shut down the two dailies. They did not allow staffers from entering the office for two hours. They were arrested by the police and released later in the evening. Last night the printing and dispatch staff of Sama Printers (printers of THT and AP) was stopped from going to the printing press by around 50 protesting Maoist trade union workers. Some press workers were even warned at their respective homes not to proceed to work.

The workers organised a meeting on the premises of the office in the evening, too, and warned the journalists not to hype the issues. Nepal Chapter of the International Press Institute condemned the act of the Maoist workers by issuing a press release today.

The chapter asked the trade union workers to withdraw their strike and let print and distribute the newspapers as their act violated people’s right to information. THT chapter and the AP chapter of the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) issued a joint statement asking the ministry of information and communications, all political parties, civil society and all the journalists’ organisations to help solve the problem. They also condemned the act of the Maoist workers.

Maoists walk out of Parliament

Kathmandu, August 14, 2007

Slamming what they called the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the issue of making the list of missing persons public, Maoist MPs today walked out of Parliament.

Janardhan Sharma, the party whip, accused the government of turning a deaf ear to their demand to make public the list of those who went missing during the decade-long conflict. “The government’s indifferent attitude has compelled us to take this step,” Sharma told the parliament before walking out.

He also said that the government was “irresponsible” and “dominated” by the Nepali Congress. “This attitude of the government will take the country nowhere. There are doubts on this government holding the constituent assembly elections,” he said.

On Friday, the Supreme Court had written to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) asking it to “strictly implement” the court’s two-month-old verdict directing the government to compensate 83 families of the missing and to promulgate an act criminalising forced disappearances.

MP Raghuji Pant of the CPN-UML told the House that the government should not “shy away” from its responsibilities.