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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 80

Citizens protest against Nepal’s media curbs

[b]Citizens protest against Nepal’s media curbs[/b]

[b] Kathmandu, 14 November. (; [/b]Streets of central Kathmandu were filled with citizens Sunday afternoon for a purpose other than their daily chores.

Over 2,000 citizens brought out a protest rally against media repression and the recent rejection by the Supreme Court of a petition seeking a stay order on the controversial media ordinance introduced by the government in early October.

The protesters chanted slogans against the ordinance "that seeks to kill freedoms that are birthrights of humans" and the court ruling that proves that "the judiciary is no more independent". Later, the rally converted into a mass gathering.

Noting that New Baneswore in Kathmandu has been the most frequent venue for pro-democratic gatherings after the government banned public gatherings in most of the places in the capital, citizens christened the area as "Loktantra Chowk", “the place for “democratic gathering” in Nepali. Dr Om Gurung, General Secretary of Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities in Nepal, declared so to loud applause from the gathering.

Addressing the gathering, President of Nepal BAR Association Shambhu Thapa said that citizens are now on the fight of civilization against barbarism. "Who are these people who are taking away the rights given to us by the parliament," he questioned. Thapa said that BAR has taken the initiative to prevent "sewer from entering the judiciary".

Similarly, Editor of pro-left Mulyankan magazine, Shyam Shrestha said that the media ordinance has been brought to convert the country into a haven of criminals. "It has been brought to prevent the media from exposing corruption and crime," he charged, adding that citizens already know what kind of elections are intended with the gagging of media. "The court ruling has said that anyone can loot equipment from FM stations," he added.

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