Nepali Press Will Fight Against Maoists

BIRTHDAY BLOG: Today happens to be the third birthday of United We Blog!, Nepal’s pioneering web site. But, as in a person’s life, UWB has also gone through many ups and downs. They say, history repeats. It has been repeated, albeit in the form of tyranny raising its ugly head. We celebrated the first birthday anniversary of the site while the country was fighting king Gyanendra’s autocracy (that he imposed in Feb 1, 2005 coup). Today the Maoists are trying to intimidate the free press by attacking Kantipur Publications, the largest independent media house in Nepal, where many of the UWB bloggers work. We will fight the Maoist’s intervention in the media as well.

[Kantipur Publications regrets Maoist threat to close down newspapers, TV –read here
Govt won’t compromise press freedom: PM –read here]

YCL in Kantipur protest

Maoist Young Communist League workers, seen in the photo above, dominated a corner meeting held by Maoist trade union in front of Kantipur Publications. Speakers in the program included Shalikram Jammarkattel, chairman of Maoist trade union, who spoke against the Kantipur and the Kathmandu Post newspapers and journalists working there. Journalists in the papers described act as an example of Maoist effort to intimidate the press. Branding this act as brazen Maoist intervention in the internal matter of the newspaper, reporters said they were not afraid of any such effort. Pic by Suraj Kunwar Read here about other updates on this topic.

By Deepak Adhikari

When an America lady recently asked me which the most unforgettable day in career was, I hastened to say that it was February 1, 2005.

On that ill-fated day, when I entered my office complex, army personnel greeted me instead of our security guards. In the evening, as deadline neared, army officers who did not have an iota of knowledge of journalism censored our news. That was definitely the nadir of my career.

Then, I would not know another more sinister moment is awaiting me. We recently witnessed authoritarian tendency that has grown in our own premises. I told her that the Friday (September 28) was another black day. It was so because in the history of Kantipur Publications, it was the first time The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur dailies were forced not to publish.

So-called trade union affiliated with Maoist has been obstructing the collection of advertisements (the backbone of our business) and forcing the publishers to halt the publication. That day, I printed the Op-ed pages of TKP and Kantipur (from the Internet) to satiate my reading. I found my friend Dinesh Wagle’s article on pro-democracy movement in Burma. Ironically, on the one hand, he was condemning the Burmese junta for suppressing the peaceful protest; his article was not printed due to the disruption from homegrown juntas masquerading as a trade union, on the other.

Dinesh, nevertheless, published a rejoinder piece on the topic in yesterday’s edition of the paper. But, today morning it saw another blow. Like an old man searching for his stick, out of habit of reading these dailies as my morning staples with a sweet cup of tea, I went to the gate a few times to bring the newspapers. But, the delivery boy was nowhere to be seen. I got panicky until 8:30 am when an Image Channel newsreader informed me that the previous evening, Maoist miscreants not only tried to burn the office building, but also damaged the vehicle of Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya. The most widely circulated two dailies of Nepal did not see the light of the day for the second time in a week.

Unfortunately, these two are not the only incidents of intimidation and attack in our publication. Angered by the beheading of twelve innocent Nepali people in Iraq by a terrorist outfit called Al Ansar Sunna, a motivated mob barged into Kantipur Complex on September 1, 2004. The miscreants put fire on over two dozen motorbikes and few cars, destroyed a number of computers. The office premises of Nepal’s biggest media house were reduced to a battlefield.

Yesterday, a handful of goons tried to enact similar scenes. But, their attempts were promptly prevented. It’s hard to understand why Maoists, who are seeking reentry into political mainstream, are trying to vandalize a publication that was instrumental in the e April movement which restored democracy.

A free press in the bedrock of democracy. When a country has to confront the most complex challenges of reconstruction and reformation, the role of free and fair press becomes immensely significant. But, Maoists seem to fail to understand this emerging reality. As a result, its authoritarian streak has grossly diminished its image of a democratic for in making.

The so-called activists of Maoist affiliated trade union are trying to behead press freedom. These people seem to represent the other extreme: they think by wielding a gun, they can stifle the media. Even dictator Napoleon Bonaparte had realized the power of pen. These neo-tyrants would eventually wake up from their deep slumber.

Deepak Adhikari, a UWB blogger, is a reporter with Nepal, a weekly political magazine published by Kantipur Publications. He maintains a personal blog.

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34 thoughts on “Nepali Press Will Fight Against Maoists”

  1. Dear Deepak, Please look into the reason why it happened to Kantipur in first place. Kantipur was blindly supporting maoist terrorist and now it has to pay the price for it. It was not very objective when Gyane took over and supported maoist like they were hero. If you have any knowledge of history , this is what bloody communist do, they destory the ladder which put them on pedestal. It is in their doctrine, kill all those who supported them as they might be potential enemy in future. Lenin did it, stalin did it and now maoist are doing it. No big deal. I do not support Gyane and his action but two wrong do not make one right. Kantipur in blid vengence againts Gyane forgot objective journalism and went into Mission journalism. This is the reward it got. Despite my reservation, we all need to condemn this act of terror and united in fight againts this curse called Maoist who are nothing buy pure terrorist and they want to rule the people by sheer terror tactics.

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  2. Deepak, what they did and what their masters are trying to do now is, I believe, is preplanned.
    Whatever the Maoist Party says apropos to the disturbance in the Kantipur , I repeat, it’s all preplanned.
    Notwitstanding its ‘dadagiri’ and “irresponsible attitude” at times, along with its sister publications, Kantipur has been synonymous to mainstream journalism in Nepal. That is why it has been a target by the Maoists.

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  3. First of all we know that Maoist are Killer of Nepali people, they killed many innocent people and coming openly now, they are Killer not more than that.

    They are going to burn, destroying publishing house to DhakChop their THINGS if news papers will publish their Jyadati, LutPat etc…

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  4. No matter how you view kantipur as a newspaper, the actions of Maoists must be condemned in the strongest words possible!!

    Reminder: Kantipur didnot make any effort to solve the problems of similar magnitude in Samacharpatra and APCA . Being a market leader in newspapers, Kantipur had responsibility to voice against similar atrocities towards the competing newspapers , to take a lead against such untoward incidents but it chose to remain silent. They have never taken their closure as threat to press freedom, now when the your own head under maoists sword, kantipur realized how their competitors felt that time, it was threat to the press freedom then and it is now too!!

    BTW, what else you are expecting from Maoists anyway??

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  5. I wanna talk about something serious matter. I am also a executive member of Kantipur Television Trade Union. When we were preparing for the establishment of our Union, some people suggested us to remain under the flag of Maoist, so that we can easily create pressure on management. But our majority denied to remain under any political group and we registered a free trade union.

    I think everybody has right to raise voices for their professional rights. BUt last night friends of Maoist affiliated trade union tried to set fire on kantipur complex. If journalists of Kantipur didnt stop them it would have been another episode of “Bhadra-16.”

    I dont know the details of what the union in Kantipur publications has demanded. But violence can not be remedy of any problem.

    Today maoists staged a protest infront of our office and threatened to shut down Kantipur Television within 4 days. The words they expressed at there protest program didnt have any professional voices, they seemed to be motivated politically. I have observed that maoist does not want the existence of media which can raise voice against their decisions against democracy and much awaited Constituent Assembly Elections.

    Maoist leadership is frequently saying that they don’t have policy of attacking on free press. If they don’t have such policy, why their sister organizations are doing all this? Has maoist leadership lost its control over its cadres?

    Deploying security personnels around our media is not the long term solution of the problem. If maoist do not want to loose people’s credibility they should stop attacking on media. If they want “New Nepal” they should get rid of old autocratic thinkins.

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  6. Deepak,
    I condem the maoist activities in Kantipur. They looks different whatever they claim. They are against democratic nepal.This is rediculous that maoist attacked free press by attacking Kantipur Media. We all nepali know that Kantipur is more important than Maoist to bring recent change in Nepal. we all Nepali know Kantipur is Hero and Maoist are vailian. you know Vailian looks strong for a minute but finally Hero win the fight. Like that, Whenever Nepal is there, Kantipur is there. Keep the fight with Maoist together. Like king Gyanendra, maoist will go to hell. We all nepali in overseas wish more success of kantipur.
    ram

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  7. The Maoists lost all credibility sometime back before this incident. This incident merely confirms how autocratic and undemocratic they are. Look it’s getting too much now. Listen to the threats that idiot coward Jamakattel is making about kidnapping the owners of Kantipur! The democratic parties should give the Maoists an ultimatum : obey the rule of law and democratic principles or expect a resumption of hostilities.

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  8. Who owns Kantipur?

    Are their any broadcast networks that are primarily owned by lower castes? That are not commercial and/or in the interests of the urban middle classes or former upper castes?

    I hear a lot of talk about “press freedom” – but the middle classes only seem to think it applies to them. Considering the Maoists are the dominant party throughout the whole of Nepal, do they have regular columns in Kantipur, or does it just pretend to be a “free press”?

    These are real questions. If the press protects private privilege, and censors the full thinking of major political players in the country – then who is really free?

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  9. On what basis are you saying Maoists are the dominant party throughout Nepal. They are even afraid to go to the election. I am no political pundit or anything, but its very simple observation, maoist are trying to repeat what Staling did in Russia.

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  10. Question, I’m not taking a side on this issue, because it’s quite obvious that there has been no objective reporting about it. However, you should keep in mind that the Maoists do control the ministry of information which distributes the state press, and they have a few of their own papers to boot. So it’s not as if they don’t have a way to get they’re voice out.

    That being said, the front pages of the Kathmandu post of late have been scarcely more than naked anti-Maoist editorials. Conjecture that the Maoists are trying to delay the elections has been printed as News rather than opinion for about the last month. There has also been little attempt to clearly explain the actual reasons for the Maoist withdrawal from the government, or even quote them correctly. It’s almost on the level of the “free press” who tried to stage a coup against Chaves in Venezuela.

    From this reporting though, it doesn’t seem as if the Maoists are taking the right aproach.

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  11. Sometimes I really wonder why do maoists think that the people of Nepal are dumb. Must be their own foolishness.

    Let this thing be clear – we will never give up free press. We will never give up multiparty democracy. Maoist thuggery will not be tolerated by us people. I would for one dare maoists to face election and not run away coward. And see for themselves what people of Nepal think of them.

    Maoists are behaving worst than mandales.

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  12. I know who can save K’pur now! Wagle too knows.
    He can summon the Moaits leader———–
    “Sir……Sir we r vry sorry we will not do that again”…..they will reply!

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  13. So what’s your point Neil. All newspapers have their biases. Look at the NYT in the USA. They can write whatever they want even if it’s anti Maoists. What part of free press don’t you understand?

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  14. Neil,

    I agree with you that TKP might have tried to manipulate the situation. Instead of presenting opinion in its right place, they should not have covered it as news. So, buying your argument, I agree that TKP did not write well. But, in that case, what the Maoists should have done? As claimed by you, the Maoists could have written in their own broadsheets about double standards of the Kantipur and exposed the Kantipur. But, the Maoists did not do that.

    Instead, the Maoists whipped up a baseless agitation and tried to vandalise and arson the Kantipur. Now, as you are a blogger, tell me what will you do if someone who does not like your blogs, treat you the same way? Is not is a violation of freedom of expression?

    The Maoists have crossed their limits and it is now beyond toleration. So, do not try to cover up blunders of the Maoists by pinpointing others’ small mistakes.

    Koklato

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  15. Yeah..as someone said above…there is little difference between the policies and aims of the Maoists and the Royalists…it’s just that their methods of implementing these policies and aims are different.

    The Maoists are going down. They have practically no support from the common people because of their high handed ways.

    And Neil you are making an idiot of yourself with your stupid comments.

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  16. Neil’s point is this: “as much if not more does not mean more” (or something stupid like along those lines). The Maoists are bad but just as bad as the Gyanendra, if not less. haha.

    This moron’s writing gets more comedic by the day. His perpetual confusion between his leftist wet dream and his inability to act out his Maoist fantasies in the US is why Nepal has the “pleasure” of dealing with Neil.

    Non-stop entertainment for free. Bring it on Neil.. tell us why Kantipur is so “unfair” to the Moaists and also why the Maoists haven’t done a thing to Himal Media. “We may have grown up in an environment without running water but do not make the mistake of thinking we are foolish.”

    Keep that quote close to your chest Neil. It’s very telling of what happens to unwanted elements in the midst of a civil war.

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  17. Anyway guys, i wrote comment in the morning and now back to read this blog again. i found situation gonna worse. Maoist must know If kantipur is not fair, they can compete with it by publishing fair newspaper, isn’t it? Such activities will be more pricy for them in future. we know they are being unhuman and nonsense. nepali thought maoist is a power for future of Nepal but they tried to become only terrorizing group. I also come from same background to whom Maoist dreaming them for good in their rule, however, we must know that is their propaganda only.

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  18. Raja la pani Kantipur lai Lakhatne, Maobadi le Pani Kantipur lai nai lakhetne, ………haina kantipur ko daag kasle metaune…….?

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  19. “Raja la pani Kantipur lai Lakhatne, Maobadi le Pani Kantipur lai nai lakhetne”

    I think that’s the greatest compliment to Kantipur. All independent media around the world face attacks (verbal or physical) or praise from all sides at different times. Once, editors of Kantipur went on jail after they published an article of a Maoist leader. The article was against King Gyanendra. At that time, Maoists openly used to praise Kantipur for brave and independent journalism. Now the same Maoists are blaming Kantipur of being pro-royalists. Royalists will never believe Kantipur is a pro-royalist paper and instead they blame Kantipur for being mouthpiece of Maoists which Maoists will never believe. So Kantipur is independent and is writing fairly about both sides that both sides don’t like. Bravo Kantipur. We are with you.

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  20. Hmmm, may be it’s really time to unite against maoists , forget all the business competition, forget all personal vengence, forget all political alignation, all the press fraternity should voice against the brazen attack on press (free??).If Kantipur gets bogged down as it’s competitors earlier, it should be considered as huge moral boosting win for Maoists. Kantipur should initiate an awareness program in public and try to clarify what happened and what was the real intention behind those distruptions including Samacharpatra and APCA. The power of media is huge provided they have public support. I believe April movement was a success due to the large part of contribution from press esp Kantipur.

    Kantipur has to initiat a fight not only for it’s survival but for the survival of whole Media and Press some how that related to democratic process as well. Not a bad time to start a campaign against maoists from all front, isolate them politically and publicly, if they resort to violence let’s not hesitate to retaliate, the intimidation must come to hault now. As govt. has shown it’s unability, you should rely on people, bring them on the streets,announce a public support campaign for free press. Let people take care of them,let them taste another Terai in the valley!!

    If you compromise like others did, make no mistake about it, Kantipur is dead!!

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  21. I agree with Hope. This is the time to forget our difference and fight for freedom of press. Now, everybody should come out to protest the this brazen disruption of press by Maoist terrorists. They do it in name of labourer and people but instead they harm the labourer and pocket the money from extortion. This fucking jammerkattel has ammassed hugh property in his name, most the maoist are investing in Stock and also buying property in their family or associates name. They are trying to buy the media house also, SAGARMATHA Television is Maoist television. Naya Patrika is funded by Maoist. They are slowley invading media, business and politicks Mafia style. If we do not destroy or protest their gameplan Maoist terrorist are sure to take a power and destroy the country for benefit of their fat ass Prachande and RAW agent baburam. Let all the people unite to fight againts tyranny of communists.
    P.S: Wondering where is Nagrik samajka haguwa and doller premi manav adhikarbadi ?? I do not see them marching for press freedom or raising hue and cry againts maoist. Now people can see who these buggers really are. SHAME SHAME on THEM !1

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  22. Funny how some of the Royalists are gloating with ‘I told you so’s’ Just shows how idiotic and short sighted they are!

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  23. Kantipur is not independent. Kantipur belongs to Indians and the main culprits … the warlords. Kantipur needs this and even more. Kantipur is wrong and that’s why everyone beats the crap out of it.

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  24. And it’s funny how the ganglords and their cadres (here, there and everywhere) aren’t yet ready to accept their crime of raping the hell out of Nepal.

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