…because of the Maoist disruption in the production of the newspaper. UWB reproduces the full text of a notice issued by the Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post (published in today’s edition of Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post):
YCL Threat to Kantipur Journalist: Hari Bahadur Thapa, Chief Reporter at Kantipur, nation’s largest and most influential newspaper, said that he received threat on phone today morning “from a person who didn’t identify himself but warned me not to publish anything negative about YCL” (Young Communist League), the youth wing of CPN Maoist that is involved in intimidation through Nepal in recent months. “You have been maligning YCL,” the person told Thapa. “Completely stop this act.”
“Please come to our office and tell which news report you find objectionable,” Thapa told the person.
“Yes, we will come to the office but in a different form,” said the person and slammed down the phone.
Thapa called back at the number but found out that the phone belonged to a shop in the city and the shopkeeper said he couldn’t identify the person.
This threat comes at a time when senior Maoist leaders are expressing against the professionally run independent newspapers in the country that they say are trying to spread rumor or malign the Maoist party and not writing for the poor.
YCL tries to abduct reporter: Meanwhile, Drishti, a pro-leftist vernacular weekly, has issued a press statement a while ago saying that a group of about 18 YCL members reached the weekly’s office at 1 PM today and tried to abduct its reporter Madhav Basnet. The group first surrounded the office as they tried to take away journalist Basent. “This kind of act that has been coming against the journalists and media houses recently from the Maoist is a mocks our press freedom,” said the statement.
Notice Issued In Public Interest
This is to update all our valued readers, advertisers and society at large on the recent developments with regard to the disruption in the production and distribution of the newspapers, The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.
The latest Chronology of events is as follows:
9th August 2007 (Thursday): A petition was filed by APCA Nepal against the office bearers of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Communication and Printing Publication Workers’ Union (ANCPPWU) which had threatened to disrupt the distribution of the two newspapers from Saturday. APCA sought a stay order against the defendants as their activities violated rights guaranteed under Caluse 6 (6) and 9 of the Citizens Rights act 2012 BS.
10th August 2007 (Friday): A single bench of Justice Buddhi Prasad Regmi summoned the defendants to appear in court on 13th August (Monday) when the bench was to conduct a hearing and decide on whether or not to issue a stay order. The defendants refused to accept the Patan Appellate Court’s summons.
Arjun Kumar Gautam of ANCPPWU entered the editorial floor of Annapurna Post and threatened the reporters working on the story on the Patan Appellate Court’s summons to the office bearers of ANCPPWU and warned the management that they would not let the copies of the newspapers leave the press if the news was carried.
11th August 2007 (Saturday): The union members did not allow the newspapers to leave the printing press located at Bhainsepati as the Saturday edition carried a news report on the case by APCA Nepal against the office bearers of the union and their refusal to accept the Patan Appellate Court’s summons.
12th August 2007 (Sunday): The union members surrounded the press at Bhainsepati and disrupted the printing of the two newspapers.
13th August 2007 (Monday): The union members prohibited the staff from entering the press premises hence the newspapers could not be printed for the second consecutive day.
We would also like to inform that no cycle boy has collected his appointment letter from the concerned distribution agent in the last 20 days. This is a violation of the agreement reached in the meeting organized by Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) on 25th July 2007 in the presence of Minister of Information and Communication, Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Maoist Trade Union leader and Member of Parliament, Shalikram Jammakatte.
Issued by APCA Nepal
Exclusive marketer for The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post.
UWB Update (14th August 2007):
ANCPPWU workers today disrupted the printing and distribution of The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post for the third consecutive day. They also prevented the printing and dispatch staff from entering the office premises in Bhaisepati this morning. This morning again, around 30 protesting Maoist aligned union workers organized a corner meeting at APCA House in Anam Nagar and threatened to shut down the two dailies. They also did not allow staffers from entering the office for two hours. They were later arrested by the police. (Source and more: THT website.)