Newspaper Closure: Maoist Madness

Nepal Samacharpatra daily is closed: The Maoists should understand that, though very young compared to the world journalism, Nepali media have gone through variety of tough tests and their effort to intimidate the critical journalism will be proved to be futile.

By Dinesh Wagle

kantipur_reporters.jpg

Some reporters, proof readers and desk editors wait for vans to ferry them home after finishing the days work amidst the strike called by colleagues in printing and marketing department recently.

The Maoists are showing their draconian face everywhere. The latest comes in the form of media intimidation. While senior Maoist leaders are complaining about the big media houses not helping their party, the party’s worker unions are staging protests in newspaper offices aiming to close down the publication. In the veil of fighting for the benefits for the laborers in the printing press and circulation department, the Maoist unions are primarily aiming to stop the newspaper from being published. They tried to create problem in the APCA, the publisher of the Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post, a few weeks ago. They tried to stop the publication of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post a few days ago. Because of their protest, Nepal Samacharpatra daily wasn’t published a few days ago (and the paper hasn’t appeared on the newsstands since yesterday).

I am a reporter, not an agent of publishers. Some readers might find me kind to publishers but that is because I denounce the protestors’ intention to close down the publication and support a newspaper’s right to get published at any cost. I support anyone who comes with genuine demands and puts them forward responsibly. When you are working for media, you must understand its nature. A newspaper company is not like a beer factory. Publishing newspaper is not like manufacturing biscuits. You can not just announce that you are going to stop the publication of a newspaper just because you claim that the management is not listening to your voice. You should make your voice louder.

A few days ago, reporters in Kantipur Publications clearly stood against such intention of agitating laborers of the printing press, hawker/cycle boys and marketing department. While we supported some of their demand to create a branch of a Maoist affiliated trade union, we strongly opposed their call to stop working so that the paper wouldn’t be available on market the next day. To stop the publication would mean acting against the freedom of expression and public’s right to information. [The slogan of Kantipur is Your Right to Information.]

“How can you even say that?” reporters protested. “On which moral ground do you raise of voice to open the trade union in the office when you destroy the paper itself? What about our responsibility to readers? Even king Gyanendra couldn’t close this newspaper and now you, the employees of the newspaper, trying to stop it from being published?”

Of course, very few in the world, more so in a country like Nepal, are satisfied with their job. Also the tension between workers and owners is not a new phenomenon. But what’s the use of protest when you are harming your own office? In all these protests, the unwanted infiltration of the Maoist is clearly seen and felt. Their leaders are striking via speeches and their unions are trying to create instability by exploiting the worker’s desire to get better payment and facilities. The Maoists should understand that, though very young compared to the world journalism, Nepali media have gone through variety of tough tests and their effort to intimidate the critical journalism will be proved to be futile.

I was also in the office that day and the newsroom team worked hard and smart to bring out eight pages (regular its 12) of Kantipur without display ads (usually Kantipur prints a lot of advertisements). The good news of the day was that the agitating workers also resumed their work on the last minute as the papers were about to go through the printing press. The Team Kantipur spirit, at last, prevailed.

Unfortunately, the same is not happening in Kamana Prakashan Samuha and Maoist party must take responsibility if it has any morality. Here I reproduce an editorial published today in the Kathmandu Post about the closure of Nepal Samacharpatra:

Nepal Samacharpatra, a national daily, has suspended its publication for the time being since Wednesday (June 20). Its sister publication- Mahanagar- was closed on Tuesday itself. The management of these newspapers has said it was forced to take the harsh decision following the obstructions by the hawkers. This is for the first time that a mainstream national daily has gone out of operation due to rift between the workers and the management. Since continuity is the credibility of a newspaper, this disruption is a huge blow not only to Samacharpatra but also to the free media in Nepal. Even during the draconian rule of King Gyanendra, which tried to gag the independent media, no daily newspaper went out of print for a single day. The closure of Samacharpatra should, therefore, be taken seriously by the media fraternity, civil society and the political parties.

The circumstance under which these two newspapers have been forced to shut down is dubious. Samacharpatra had outsourced its distribution to Customers Solution Pvt Limited. The hawkers, who were actually employees of Customers Solution, created obstructions demanding formation of a trade union in Kamana Prakashan Samuha, the publisher of Samacharpatra. Trade union is the right of employees ensured by the law and no management can – and should – try to trample the right of the workers. But how come the employees of one company demand to form a trade union in another company?

The fact that the hawkers are trying to form All Nepal Communication Press and Publications Trade Union, which is affiliated to CPN (Maoist), raises many questions. Is this the tactic of the Maoists to arm-twist the independent media? Are they trying to send a message to the independent media houses that criticism against them will invite dire consequences? Are the Maoists, who have faced the wrath of the media in recent days, making a strategic but indirect move, to cow them into submission?

Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s comment that “it is an issue to be sorted out between the management and the workers” lends credence to the suspicion that it could be a tactical move of the Maoists. Any media house or an industry is obliged to talk and negotiate with its workers but not with someone who are not even its employees. So, the obstruction by hawkers at Kamana Prakashan is not an issue between the management and the employees. If the Maoists think that they can silence growing media criticism against them by encouraging their trade union to take on the media, this is a strategy completely wrong-headed and could be counter-productive in the long run. The Maoists should not forget that Nepal’s media has already demonstrated adequate fighting spirit to defend its freedom.

Related:

1. Maoist trade union formed at Kantipur
2. Nepal Samacharpatra suspends publication

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79 thoughts on “Newspaper Closure: Maoist Madness

  1. I am just to dumbfounded at the naivity of people like Wagle and his elks for not knowing the modus operandi of Maoist. Now no matter what you write it is just too late to correct it, they are everywhere and are not too keen on freedom of press and so-called-loktrantra. The virus called Maoisism aka communisim will make all the ones “useful idiots” pay for their support according to their terms. Wagle demonized Monarchy, now Maoist will demonize Wagle and his cohorts not in kind but by force (unions etc.,)- and all they can do is whimper a protest a or two but nothing more- its all hands on deck.

    Well, all I can say to Wagle and his blindmens are- its payback time and you cannot do anything about it.

  2. I hope the maoists keep on showing their ugly faces till the constituent assembly so that people will show them the door for good in the elctions.

    Maoists are bound to face the loss of any space, as seen in eastern Terai. I salute the madhesis of eastern Terai who has time and again shown what average people really think of the maoists.

  3. It proves that maoists are against Freedom of Information. It is an attempt to infiltrate independent press and control the flow of information to the people. Nepali press could not be gagged even during Gyanendra’s rule. Media must lay open the dishonest process that maoists are following. The maoist leaders say one thing for public consumption and encourage their cadre to continue to intimidate and threaten other party workers in the villages and anybody else who have a different opinion. They are not in the government to make democracy work.

  4. SERVES YOU RIGHT !. Even though I am sad to say this but I can not stop my urge to say it. Every thinking person or so called civil society people could see what was modus operandi of Maoist but yet they supported them blinded by hate toward king. It was just like cutting your own ball when fly is sitting on your penise and as you want to kill the fly you cut your own ball. Everybody should have seen this coming. This is just a trailor. True horror of full film is still to come to as this bunch of thugs and murderer Motherfucker Maoist is true student of Polpot, Stalin and Hitler and whatever they say they belive in force and dictatorship. Only thing that can stop them is to kill them all.

  5. Wagle,

    People like you invited them in with open arms, what did you expect? It will get worse as they learn the system more and more and get to know how thints operate. Further, it will get harder to single them out, now they use the trade union tactic to close media, tomorrow you will not even know from where you got hit.

    Really what the hell did you media folk expect with your biased coverage against the royal regime and personal agendas? Fools you rolled out the red carpet for all this to happen.

    There is very little you can do. By the way you will now be labelled a royalist for saying that even in the royal regime the media was not attacked this badly.

  6. A few weeks ago Avantika Regmi had mentioned boldly in one of the leading papers that taking Maoists into the government was a suicidal step. It is proving absolutely right. I have never trusted Prachanda and his people. Soon they will be all over Baluwataar banning everything including CA Election so they can rule with their anarchy. Before we used to talk about Maoists infiltration but now it is YCL’s infiltration everywhere. And the worst thing is the present government can do nothing, absolutely nothing.

  7. Sanjaya: even if the Maoists loose in the CA elections, I somehow doubt they will accept those results. In fact I don’t think they will do well in any case. They have squandered one of the major constituencies – Terai!

    Wagle has no shame. He states that even under Gyanendra’s rule no newspaper publication was shut down. This same idiot was/is willing to look the other way and give the Maoists a chance even though the Maoists have forcefully taken over his ancesteral home. Did they give that back, Wagle?

    As someone stated above – it’s too late now to look back. The Maoists are everywhere. I, personally, liked the days when these goons would run and hide at the sight of RNA choppers. We can only hope the SPA will gorw some balls and take action. The Maoists need to be stopped. These jungalis are just incapable of being tamed!

  8. Yeah, it is total disrespect to the people’s right but what else would you expect from Maoists?? When gangsters with arms become legal entity they would surely force the law of Jungle where they belong.

    I wonder why would you need a workers organization in every department?? If it is for the welfare for the workers why don’t they can unite in one association. Why on earth we need seperate org for seperate parties even in private enterprises?? I certainly support Kamana group as it is their own business and investment , they should no way allow any organization even within their own company let alone the brokers outside. Maoist must clarify their stand on the matter as whether they will allow the private enterprise to run in the way the entrapreneurs wanted or they have to leave the country as many of others doing or people need to start another revolt(why not armed??) against the terrorists.

    I think time is really running out and water has come to our nose, the choice is either you drown or fight back, what we need is an united effort to defeat them as they did in terai by MPRF.It’s an irony that people are left with no choices but to support the inhumane ways of MPRF!! What a pity!!

  9. They are doing very good. Because In a Gyane period Crown Prince Paras used to do the same thing. But Paras never goes against medi and YCL see the thing. Anyway they have to pay all the cost some day, we did fight with Gyane may be we will be ready to fight for Maoist too. And now I don’t have any fear with maoist I can go against any time with them, but am not alone we are 100 thousand of people waiting for that situation. I forcely alert to them…. pls. maoist friends try to do the best not worst and mess in society….
    Trikon and all dukkha paune nepali people
    Subidha Nagar, Kathmandu

  10. Dinesh ji:

    Welcome to the “loktantra” that you and your colleagues so vehemently advocated in favor of.

    Welcome to the literal translation of the 12 point agreement that legitimizes violence as a means to power.

    Welcome to the Maoist interpretation of democracy and market economics (de-facto control through unioinization).

    There are many of us who are not one bit surprised by everything the Maoists are doing. We had warned against this and against Gyanendra’s aggression and stressed on the need for balanced approach to offer the Maoists a REALISITIC safe landing and Gyanendra a REALISTIC, apolitical role.

    But your views (and those of your editor-in-chief) have always been REPUBLIC first and everything else will fall into place. This is not how things work Wagle ji. You need to reclassify your priorities and learn to exercise the compromise that you write about but do not practice.

    Either this, or it’s best to keep quiet along with the rest of the Nepali intellecutals whose intellectualism is high on populist rhetoric and low on pragmatism. We don’t hear these fools much these days and truth be told, they look equally as stupid as the moron Gyanendra, against whom, the Maoists mobilized these ideologues to the ultimate benefit of the Maoists.

    Good luck in your struggle to oppose “loktantra” and be careful not to bring the peace process into danger by opposining the Maoists. If the peace process fails because media houses refuse to write the “truth” about Maoists, all fingers will point to this group.

    Oh and don’t bother complaning to UNMIN or the Home Ministry because your problems don’t fall in either of their juristictions.

    Welcome to reality Dinesh ji.

  11. this is another step towards creating PEOPLE’S Republic of Nepal. What the terrorists are interested in is NOT, for your kind information, a republic.. it is PEOPLE’S repubublic and by forcing media houses to close down and continuing to put pressure of business and deliberately expanding the period of uncertainty and insecurity, they are knowingly forcing the cream of the society to leave the country so that eventually when Nepal is turned into a communist state, there will not be that middle class unheavel as there will be no middle class left that has the energy to fight back. What’s ironic is that today the very corrupt Congress party’s Minister Poudel was talking about integrating PLAs into the Nepal Army– this is ironice mainly because these terrorists haven’t given away their old means and without them correcting themselves we are talking about re-arming them AGAIN. This new junta will soon take over the country. And BTW… at the time of the “integration” the children and laymen who are now languishing in the cantonements as fake militants will duly be asked to go home and the YCL cadres running wild in the cities of Nepal will suddenly wear the coveted Nepalese army uniform. That will a BIG disgrace to this nation.

  12. This is an attack on press freedom. Why don’t the reporters and publishers work together and print the newspaper in a different printing press even if it is a different size.

    In addition, this is not just an attack to Kamana Publication but to all the publishers and reporters. The journalists and other publications even if they are competitors should help Kamana print the newspaper in their difficult times.

    I agree with Budhai Pundit. Even if Maoists lose the CA election, they will reject the result and will try disrupt everything until they achieve total power.

  13. wagle jee, ur life been this blog……. wen ever i visited this blog i find the comment writters are too strange , most of the comment writters are repeating and repeating …….. same person might be using with different names as well.

    they dont represent the view of general public…….. sounds they are vomiting poision against maoist……. they are working for moriarty and kamal thapa ultimately for gyanendra……..

    lastly they washed ur brain…….. u are brain washed by them coz u are reading everyday such evil comments ……..

    wake up wagle otherwise ur blog represents an evil.

    in this article wot u wrote, u blamed maoists coz they above, washed ur brain…..

    listen, puskarlal shrestha, wen he was awarded by GO DA BA from gyanendra , he stared to be loyal to gyandra. indeed he was contributing for that killer somehow before as well.
    can u imagine journalists are not getting their wages for months in that media house. this is puskarlal’s way to help his boss showing maoist bad as he could fool u and wrote UGLY FACE OF MAOIST. dont be fooled by cowards.

    i have written to samacharpatra site newsofnepal so many times saying U BECAME ROYALIST. it been years i dont visit that site since it changed dramatically, no longer responsible towards general public and impaired neutrality.

    hope u wont write such immature article again. wish u for good luck.

  14. Where is scope and Gary “the british swine from England” to read this ? Where is comrade bhayankar? Oh maybe they are all meeting Prachande to plan the next move.
    I still say, Move the ARMY NOW….and crush them, be it another bloody civil war but get them before they kill us. These people only know how to threaten, kill and plunder and they have been doing it outright everyday. They will. FINISH their heads off before they finish us.
    Use the JTTM factions whatvere factions possible, even if it is from India use them to kill them mercilessly. Rip them apart like they were ripped in Gaur and feed them to the crows and vultures.

  15. Maoist power in Nepal is surely the demise of the country. Educated, literate, businessmen might as well all join the exodus from a country that will be ruled by illiterate and ruthless mercenaries that have no regard for civil liberties. India can deal with these idiots and might as well take over the nation.
    Mush rather live under indian security then be ruled by Maosists.

  16. Hey where is Neil ? I wonder why they let HIM publish that in the blog…of I forgot Neil aka Comrade Goro.

  17. If ever there will be an election not by any means will i vote for or in favour of the maoist.

  18. If ever there will be an election not by any means will i vote for or in favour of the maoist.

  19. Some day in Nepal, Maoists will be in total control of the Government and then there will be only one newspaper, one TV station, one Radio station. Life will be great because all of us walking like donkeys.

  20. yeah i agree with shree shrestha, now this is time to wake up fight back against them.this time, they attack on press may be next day on anyone.yeah they r fill with lot of thugs and criminals.if we didnt stop them it would much more dangereous situation in country.if u want peace and safe in country then u must have to getrid of maoist.i know they never gonna change their behaviour as they get money easily by extortion and kidnapping.so plis brother and sister lets fight back.

  21. I repeat…Maoists are not as dangerous as moron SPA warlords and their cadres and comrades like Wagle, Bhudey, or Baje are. The warlords and their cadres are the most dangerous thing for Nepal. They are the seeds of terrorism.

  22. Madhesi and Janajati uprisings are really good because these uprisings are minimizing Maoists’ power.

  23. Nothing to say except that Nepal is moving towards communist dictatorship and soon we will follow the path of Afghanisthan and Iraq.

    Its better that we all learn to use weapons so that if we see any maoist or netas in future we can just kill them (end everything then and there) rather then give them space to walk together in a democratic way.

  24. The reason behind making comment about this is to give spcials thanks to DOA. Feral maoist can not accept democratic institution. They are worse than Gyanendra but this thing doesent go into big head like Bhudai Pundit.
    These types of heads just making their expression raping others fundamental and universal expression.

  25. To the all Bhatua of Parsain:

    Finally 16 cases filed against Prasain…I know some of Bhatua are worried about his fate. That is normal for a criminal to show respect to another criminal. But, don’t worry your democratic court gives clean chit to this corrupt like Khume and other.

  26. Shree : then you also have to stand a long queue for one loaf of bread, and will be kept in death camp at your later days! Imagine how intresting it will be!

  27. I don’t support either NC, UML, Maoists, Madhesi or Janajat. These are all ppl from slums who have abused our beautiful country to the level which has left all of the Nepalese in shame – both who are in home and those of us abroad.

    I don’t like their style, I hate them because they’ve fucked our system over and over and left it as absolutely useless.

    I hate foreign diplomats who come into the country for a visit only for few days and tries to come to a conclusion which will bring the peace in the country. Or those who make remarks without feeling our sentiments.

    I haven’t felt such negative as this before, but I don’t want to stop feeling this – because I pride myself to be called a Nepali. And won’t back off to support the needy and go against those who are infectious.

    The illiteracy is the primary disease in our country. If we are unaware of the circumstance then the history will repeat to our disadvantage.

    We need to open our eyes and take a look at what has happened to other countries in the past. There’s no proof of successful communism, socialism, or Maoism anywhere in the world. Look closely people…

    I hate to just keep within myself what I know. Therefore I distribute my knowledge – without showing fear. Do the same thing my brothers and sisters. We all know where our country is heading… we have the power to stop it from getting to the time of destruction. We have to move ahead. We have to take charge. And we have to choose the worthy leader to lead our country. If those bastards are going to rule our country – then they can rather go to hell for this crime. We have to punish them.

    Together we can stop this crime from getting committed. Act now, do something, take charge, move ahead in the direction of progress.

  28. Raja ko sadyantra ho aru kei hoina………

    Maobadi CANNOT be wrong.

    They are there for People.

    EAT SLEEP DRINK loktantra………. dont f..ing complain just comply.

  29. Earlier, i used to think that bringing Maoists in the Government is a great achievement of the people of Nepal but now i came in conclusion that there is no any differences. They are totally suffered from the Jungali Pana and to think about the changes in them is to make ownself a charector of laugh.

  30. dear replytoall, i do not comply. no longer am i the sheep that follows capullos blindfolded. so for you and likes of you can go and tomar por tus culos.

  31. dear replytoall, i do not comply. no longer am i the sheep that follows capullos blindfolded. so for you and likes of you can go and tomar por tus culos.

  32. King can only save us from the ruthless Maoists and of course from SPAM. Oh thou King Gynendra..please bestow up these idiots some of your blessings.

  33. Wagle, I am not Maoist and I dont say that what Maoist are doing is good, and that is the right way to get right. However, mediahouse is not paying well to their reporter, there is no guranty of the job. what do you tell on this issue?

  34. well…

    George BUSH won the elections beause of money
    from arms
    from cheating
    The problem with maobadi is the leaders are good and have too much education, which is not the case of devotees.

    press freedom I repeat does not exist.
    Blogs are as good as it gets.
    nobody
    Am I clear?
    I used to be a journalist I never go t a chance because all these guys like to do themselves, then later you understand why newspapers are worthless, it is the people that are shit.Nepal is just one example Kathmandu post never published the bandhs or the closed schols until it was too late, they decided it was best to ignore!

    welcome maoist world with uneducated monsters ruling my life.
    No water and the prospective of remain diaspora. Or become democratic, including press. Can somebody like prachandras wife or what say something about this/
    DANIUBAD

  35. Dineshji,
    It is indeed a nice article.
    Definately, Kantipur has shown lots of example of GOOD PRESS morality in the past days and made the paper to survive even in the peroid of Gyanendra.

    After the participation of maoist in the cabinet, like most of Nepalis I also hoped that – Finally we are going to live with peace. But Their new incarnation YCL and trade unions , meseems, jeopardaising the peace process.

    If the Maosits are really interested to win the confidence of people so that they will gain more votes in the upcoming elections, Such work should be IMMIDIATELY STOPPED.Otherwise,nothing will be left except regrets after the CA election.

  36. dear mr. sad,

    news flash ……. too late…….. there aint a thing u can do to reverse let alone change the fact infront of u & me now

  37. avaya commie suckerupper,

    Prasain is old garbage. Stick to the program. Your master’s glory days of catching Prasain lasted 24 hours. Now take a reality pill from your defeat that Prasain did not pay you off and deal with the freedom of press issue.

  38. People were constantly telling that these things will happen, but media people were blindly supporting this situation and total bias toward one institution only. The next turn will be civil society then human right groups. Then after politicians (RamChandra already got good gift in the program of civil society), maybe next starting from Hawaldar Girija. He will be in the gate of Prachanda to do the job of Hawaldari within a year, or flee from Nepal to Banaras. Oh.. Mr. Situala, a well wisher of the people and supposed to give security, keeping his mouth shot. I think Mr. Sitaula is the main culprit for all these bad things. I don’t like to blame maoist for this, because they have set target with set strategy.

  39. Are people not entitled to an opinion Matribhuni?I am neither for or against the maoists.Just fair play.Why have a go at me for an opinion?I bet you are a fuckin Brahman aren”t you.Call me a swine to my face in September.

  40. Nepali ppl in the path of Hell…….. maoist ,madhesis or any backward class or upward class ppl’s protest and Bhand will all the way result the loss of Nepal and sadharan nepali and their lives………. ……….
    so
    hay God save NEPAL & NEPALI

  41. Reading the comments of this blog makes me laugh. The King is now history; lets forget him and the sooner we get rid of him the better. Now the Maoists, yes they are now REAL and in the government as well as outside! They have claws and sharp teeth in the form of the YCL and the various sister organisations. They will eat your gutys from within and tear you apart from without. The Congress, the UML, and the rest will all wither away in a few more years. Good Luck you idiots!

    Now the PLA is being assimilated into the NA. The Army brass think that they will be able to absorb them peacefully and all will be fine. Look out! The PLA commanders are far better than your potbellied generals; the PLA fighters are far more motivated than your sickly soldiers; and what resources they did not have will now be theirs by right. You all can now only wait for the October Revolution.

    Cheers.

    Deva

  42. Deva,

    Thank you for your well wishes. Hopefully these things will not come to pass, but if it does please enjoy seeing it on CNN from AMRIKA munching on your beef burger, enjoying your hard earned dollars worth of Canadian beer, while the rest of us here (IN NEPAL) struggle it through. Please do not bother to claim your Nepali citizenship back when the dust settles.

  43. This is sad but was expected. In one of my earlier postings I had shared this when there was talks of Maoists keen on Info & Comm portfolio. I just hope media shows enough balls the way they did with G. And Wagle – just keep tight, everyday is a lesson, hope you wont end up looking for a job outside media.

  44. Once again I say – Maoists can still be easily wiped out. Its just too sad that GPK and followers still refuse to pressure these junglis as a tactic to discredit them with their own actions. Its too sad all the old man is int in is for NC to win in CA tht hes too blinded abt the dangerous consequences of his game.

    I think GPK plan has succeeded already and Maoists are now exposed. Its time to crush them for good. Both Maoists and G need to go.

  45. This is the begining of the full scale supression of the press.They cannot say it is sponcered by the palace.If you cannot hit directly try the curve ball.
    We need free press,so that we know what is going on.Let not the Moauist paly game with the media,they will be crushes by the people who brought them in to power.Power corrupts.

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