Down With Maoists: Press Freedom Will Prevail in Nepal

Update 2: The Patan Appellate Court this afternoon issued a stay order: not to stop the publication of the papers. The order, issued by Justice Jagdish Sharma Poudel, also says not to organize protest programs in the office premises that the Maoist unionists were doing in the past several days and the order also says not to stop the advertisement flow in the papers.

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The Maoists, Ayatollahs of Nepal, obstruct the printing of two of the biggest and best known newspapers in the country

Demonstrating the true and bitterly ugly nature of the Maoist trait, the Maoist-affiliated trade unionists obstructed the printing the Kathmandu editions of two of the biggest newspaper of Nepal: Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post. Hundreds of thousands of readers across the country today (also the Right to Know Day), especially those in Kathmandu and surrounding region, were deprived of two best known dailies papers that symbolize the democratic achievement of Nepal. [Bharatpur and Biratnagar editions of the papers were published.] Both papers were established as the pioneering private sector independent daily newspapers after democracy was restored by a popular uprising in 1990. Even during the dark old days when the autocratic Gyanendra regime tried to block the publications of the papers by imposing curfew in the city and not providing curfew pass to the publications, both papers were published albeit with less and black and white pages.

Kantipur journalists press release

This is the digitized copy of a press release issued by the Kantipur branch of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) today that condemns the Maoist union’s obstruction of printing of the papers. All reporters and editors of both Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post are united against the Maoist highhandedness. They have vowed to fight against the Maoist unionists. The statement, signed by FNJ Kantipur branch president Yuvraj Acharya and central secretary of FNJ Balaram Baniya, says that though many of the demands raised by the Unionists were genuine and supported by the journalists themselves, the act of obstruction in the printing process is condemnable. The journalists have urged the unionists to continue their talks with the management to solve the problem without disturbing the publications of the papers. The statement says the Kantipur branch of FNJ has taken such incidents by the Maoist-aligned union as a ploy to snatch around 900 employees’ jobs. (click here for large file of the statement)

Update 1: The editors and reporters of Kantipur Publications, who are against the Maoist unionists’ act to disrupt the printing of the papers, today afternoon gathered and condemned the Maoist act. Almost all staffs of the Marketing department, many of whom were actively involved in the Maoist union at the time of its formation a few weeks back, have also said that they are against the economic blockade to the publication and against the obstruction in printing the papers.

After the Kantipur branch of Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) issued a statement condemning the Maoist unionist’s act, the Union has also issued a counter statement saying that they were not responsible in disrupting the printing. They instead blame “the management and the pro-royalist journalists of Kantipur Publications” for the printing disruption. This is a blatant lie because the Marketing department worked yesterday and they had sent the slug (the pages of the newspapers with details of the advertisement placement) to the editorial section and the journalists actually wrote news and articles, the designers designed the pages, the scanners scanned the pages and they were sent to the press that is about 10 kilometers away from the head office of Kantipur Publications. As the papers were about to be printed, about a dozen Maoist Unionists went and said they won’t allow the printing.

So the disruption of the printing doesn’t have support of the journalists and staffs but was done by only a handful of hardcore Maoist cadres who are mobilized by the central leadership of the Maoist trade union. An editor of the Post said: “These Maoists are trying to play propaganda with us journalists. Just imagine what they have been doing with the general public.”

This obstruction comes a day after the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Communication, Printing and Publication Workers’ Union stopped advertisements in the Kantipur Publications, publishers of those dailies. This wicked disturbance in the publishing of the newspapers is not only against the press freedom in the country that is guaranteed by the constitution but also the brazen violation of their own commitment that the unionists’ made yesterday afternoon (27 September) in a small gathering in the premises of Kantipur Publications. After the gathering, they had issued a statement that they pasted on the walls of the office building that clearly said: “In the interest of the peoples’ right to information, we have decided to launch our protest program without disturbing the publications and distribution of the papers.” But then, Maoists are such a bunch of hypocrites who conveniently put behind the Burmese generals in terms of dictatorial ambitions.

Yesterday’s editions of Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post were published without advertisements. Stopping collection of advertisements by the Maoists had sparked strong criticism from various quarters yesterday. (more here)

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14 thoughts on “Down With Maoists: Press Freedom Will Prevail in Nepal”

  1. These acts carried out by the maoists clearly show what they really have in their mind. They only know how to conduct and do things in the “own ways”. Their ways of brutality. They are using their old ways of getting things done and in any cost.

    The top leaders decide do not take responsibility of what their cadres are doing. Their cadres are on a wild rampage. The main thing is that the other political parties has not been able to address this.

    We will have to see where this all takes our country.

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  2. This is a power play by the maoists. This is Nepal and power has always played a major role in shaping all the big happenings of Nepal.
    But this is not good for the well being of nepal or we nepalese.

    likewise, we have to focus the main issues of the country than to take the country in backward direction or cease the development process of the country which is already in a very fragile condition.

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  3. I express my solidarity with Kantipur and the Journalists/Editors over there. I agree that there can be some problems with employees. But, it does not demand such a drastic step like blocking publication with use of force. Print media is different from other institutes as they have to survive everyday. If one issue is not published, the publication suffers hugely in financial terms. This means even the employees who are acting as foolish agent of the Maoists are inviting financial troubles for them also. So, the Maoist affiliated employees of Kantipur needs to introspect first and try to find a difference between their political affiliation and organizational ethics.

    The Maoists, while emulating the tactics of Polpot, has enrolled every Tom,Dick and Harry in its rank and file. Though they claim to have ideological purity, their actions smacks of some filthy thought process. Their penchant to silence the critics by calling bad names and attacking the critics on false charges has few takers only. If they are really Lokatantric, then they must be able to consent to dissenting voices.

    The Maoists targeting the vernacular Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post is obviously a handiwork of party high command. With constant exposition of political immaturity and double standards through various write-ups, articles, editorials and new reports in these publications, the Maoist leadership must have been enraged. Instead of correcting themselves and exhibiting political pragmatism,which would have definitely been given positive coverage, the Maoists have preferred to look the other way. And this is what makes us wary of the Maoists intentions. The Maoists must know that people now no longer buy their arguments. Stop this arm-twisting!

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  4. Well done Maoists. Don’t back down until and unless you kick out all these India fed (and now foreign fed) newspapers. I like you more and more than the SPA criminal warlords.

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  5. How stupid can the Maoists get really? Don’t touch or mess with freedom of the press. Did they not see what happened to Gyanendra? Or for the matter they must be toally ignoarant of other numerous similar instances around the world. Idiots. They are gradually digging their own grave. What a sweet day it will be when they actually fall into that deep pit.

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  6. come up with better logic than critism politics.

    media houses are not exempted from trade union law.

    nowadays it became really usual wen maoists trade union asks for rights(actually everyone sud have asked, the fact that maoists are the leaders in every aspect wots have been changed in nepal for last decade), close down thier operation in the name of attack in press freedom, pathetic!!!

    and……. guys here post their critism and mr wagle acts as he is the boss of kantipur and TKT.

    mr wagle, wake up, they are working for ur rights, dont get fooled.

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  7. Any form of intimidation of media is not on. But, from this article it is’nt clear why the moaists have resorted to such measures? As you write, “many of the demands raised by the Unionists were genuine and supported by the journalists themselves” – so if that is the case why have they gone so far?

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  8. Introvert,

    Although I also believe that trade unions have to work for the rights of workers and therefore my curiosity above, I don’t believe forcefully doing anything is the method. Trade Unions have to also have the workers support, whereby the correct method is to negotitate and strike with the consensus of the workers not force other workers to do their bidding. It is’nt clear whether the majority of the Kantipur workers are for this or not. And in a democracy majority is key something maoists and their sympathisers as yourself campletely fail to understand. Not to mention practicality and feasibilty. If we can have all these elements then that’s great. But plain union activity without all these elements is undemocratic to say the least, and if it is’nt practical and feasble at the time then what is the use of a company that cannot fulfil impractical demands – it will sink and what use would that be? Nevertheless I do want the author to answer my queries to see where the truth lies.

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  9. They are the GREATEST ENEMIES OF NEPAL AND NEPALI PEOPLE because they have done the BIGGEST DAMAGE to this country, and they are in terms of ranking: pol Pot Prachande (son of prostitute), Pataki Girija, pataki sher Bahadur Deuba, Murderer Gyane (who finished Birendra’s family), Jwala singh, and Goit. Peace and stability in Nepal is possible only if we tie these six criminals together and then hang them together at Tundikhel in front of the Public. They pushed this country to this state of vicious cycle of instability because of their vested interest.

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  10. Dear Dinesh,
    keep the fight against maoist activities in Kantipur which are heading to the pro-king line. Keep the fight. i wish Kantipur will win. we Support you from overseas. you must try to write more blogs against maoist ativities in Kantipur. Other Kantipur journalist most be serious and try to get more support from people.

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  11. When the Maoists ran a newspaper, their editor was murdered. Krishna Sen.

    But now, when workers demand a basic living, you hide behind your bourgeois rights, as it you had the right to tell people what to think.

    How many Maoists have columns in your paper?

    NONE.

    So who are you to speak of freedom?

    Like

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