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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Implications of state clampdown on private media

[b]Implications of state clampdown on private media[/b]

By Mohan Nepali

Shockwaves have spread throughout Nepal following the midnight invasion on Kantipur FM Radio Station by state forces on October 21 when some satellite uplinking equipment were also seized by the government forces.

Media sector, human rights institutions, political parties, student unions, youth organizations and other professional associations have strongly objected to this kind of state action. The international community, including the UN and the EU, has also expressed their concern over the worsening situation of Nepali media freedom. Contrary to this, the government has claimed it has simply applied the new Media Ordinance.

Especially, media sector has considered such an attack on media as the state’s latest step directed at destroying free press first and democracy and people’s fundamental rights ultimately.

What is especially worth remembering in this context is a major attack on Kantipur Publications by an unidentified group on September1 in 2004 when Nepali masses were spontaneously protesting in Kathmandu streets against the brutal killing of 12 Nepalese workers by an Iraqi terrorist group on August 31. The media house had complained that the government did not protect its properties though emergency information was given to various security units, including the Ministry of Home Affairs itself.

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