From the Kathmandu Press: Monday, May 13, 2019

Experts wanting media watchdogs to challenge the government’s decision has been featured in all national dailies. Communication Minister Gokul Prasad Baskota defending the government’s decision has also been featured on Monday’s newspapers.

Here is a summary of important, ignored and interesting stories from the cover pages of national broadsheets:


Experts ask FNJ to challenge government’s decision

File image: Federation of Nepali Journalists central office

Republica reports that experts have advised the media watchdog organisations to challenge the bills curtailing press freedom in court.

Arguing that the organisations including the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) have no other option but to challenge controversial laws at the Supreme Court, experts said some provisions of the controversial bills contradict the preamble of the constitution and fundamental rights enshrined in the statute.

Similarly, The Himalayan Times and Kantipur report that President of the main opposition Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba said the government was planning to stage a coup d’état against press freedom and journalism through the introduction of Media Council Bill.

Stating that the NC had been advocating and fighting for liberty, freedom and human rights since its inception, Deuba said his party would not accept at any cost moves to curtail press freedom.

The government on May 9 registered a new bill in the Parliament regarding the constitution of Nepal Media Council, proposing to impose a fine up to Rs 1 million on media outlets, editors, publishers and journalists if they were found guilty of damaging someone’s reputation.

Communications Minister Gokul Banskota during a meeting of the Development and Technology Committee of Parliament, on Thursday, October, 4, 2018.

However, Gorkhapatra reports that Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota has assured that the Media Council Bill was being brought for the greater good of journalists.

At a press conference organised by Press Chautari Nepal and Press Centre Nepal on Sunday, Minister Baskota shared that new rules would be introduced to ensure journalists’ rights and welfare.

According to him, some media owner were dreadful of facing the music as they were not paying their employees a minimum wage determined by the government but dodge taxes. Urging the working journalists to be assured, he pledged to secure their rights and welfare.

Police confused as Bipalv-led leaders released by courts

Republica reports that although the police action has significantly reduced the incidences of Netra Bikram Chand-led party’s criminal activity, the law enforcement agency is now facing two major challenges.

First, the arrested leaders and cadres are being released by the court one after another with little success in recovering their weapons. Second, the Chand-led cadres have started adopting a new strategy of planting bombs, many hoaxes as well, in public places unlike in ‘targeted’ places in the past to apparently “terrorise” the public.

According to data maintained by Nepal Police headquarters, police arrested a total of 579 leaders and cadres of the Chand-led group until last week. While 135 of them were released after interrogation, 338 others were produced before the court. Most of those taken before the court were released on bail.

Police officials have expressed frustration over the release of most of the leaders and cadres of the outfit, although they are arresting the outfit’s central and district level leaders almost every day since the launch of the offensive. Also, police have not been able to seize a large number of sophisticated weapons believed to have been held by the group except for a few such arms recovered from Chand’s home village in Kapilbastu.

Meanwhile, Annapurna Post has published Chand’s interview.


File: Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

RSS journalists under investigation

The Kathmandu Post reports that three journalists at the Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Nepal’s national news agency, are being probed for disseminating a news item regarding the Dalai Lama. RSS journalists working at the English desk of the news agency–Mohani Risal, Somnath Lamichhanne and Jivan Bhandari–face the probe for translating and disseminating a wire report about the Dalai Lama being discharged from a hospital in New Delhi and his return to Dharamshala on April 27 after treatment.

Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Baskota confirmed that the investigation was initiated at his orders.

Baskota said the Tibet issue is sensitive for China and dissemination of a report regarding the Dalai Lama by the state-run news agency–particularly during President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s state visit to China–was against Nepal’s commitment to One-China policy.

900 hectare university land encroached

Kantipur reports that nearly 900 hectares land belonging to Nepal Sanskrit University has been encroached. The university which was displaced during the Maoist insurgency in 2001 has not returned to its original place for the past 18 years. The land under the university’s name has been encroached by farmers of the Rajpur, Dang who have been building houses and selling land.

Govt offices refuse to follow SC orders

Rajdhani reports that government offices in Jhapa have refused to follow the Supreme Court’s order to transfer guthi’s land to a person. Justice Gauri Dhakal and Rajendra Koirala on February 21, transferred 3.3 hectare land belonging to Anaram Devi Guthi in the name of four persons. However, the government offices in Jhapa has refused to follow the court orders and has decided not to pass the land in the name of the individuals.


File: Culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi

Satya Mohan Joshi turns 100

Annapurna Post reports that culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi has turned 100 on Monday. To celebrate his birthday, Lalitpur Metropolitan City has announced public holiday and will also celebrate his birth centenary for a year. Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan said there will be celebrations for a year starting from his birthday as per the decision of the second municipal council. Lalitpur has said the decision to mark Joshi’s centenary was taken in honour of the invaluable contribution by a person born to a simple family to lift the prestige of the country through his personal hard work. A cultural birthday rally will start from Mangal Bazar and reach the metropolis office at Pulchowk via Lagankhel and Jawalakhel.

KMC buying more broomers

A broomer is being used to clear a road in Kathmandu, on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Rajdhani reports that Kathmandu Metropolitan City is buying four more broomers to take the dust problem in the city. As of now KMC already has five broomers operating in the city. Out of the four, two broomers will be given to KMC by the Chinese government. It has already started the procedure to buy two broomers. The broomers on an average are collecting around 18-ton dust per day. Lalitpur Metropolitan City has also been buying broomers to tackle the dust issue.

HoR encroaching NA’s jurisdiction

File: Nepal’s Parliament building

Nagarik reports that the House of Representatives have been found encroaching the jurisdiction of the National Assembly. The Passport Bill which was sent to the NA for approval has already been transferred to the President for her approval. The bill hasn’t been approved by the NA yet.

Published on May 13th, Monday, 2019 10:24 AM

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