Opposition urged to avoid restlessness

Surkhet, Feb 13: Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota has suggested the main opposition Nepali Congress to avoid restlessness as even though the government is periodic democracy is not.

The minister, who represents the ruling Nepal Communist Party, said his party had experience of sitting in the opposition for 22 years, while calling upon the NC to stop suffocating itself in just six months and to not indulge in ‘politics of pollution’.

Inaugurating the national conference and general assembly of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters Nepal (ACORAB) amidst a programme here today, he expressed concern over what he said the government not getting due respect and recognition for its several noble efforts.

Stating that independent and impartial media was still awaited, he called on Nepali media to play their part as a critique of the government, not as the opposition and to rightly evaluate its activities. He accused some media houses of working to split the party.

As he said, the government had made no mistake by deciding to implement the provision of minimum wages for working journalists. The Communications Minister said that the government was preparing to bring an umbrella act by incorporating four genre of mainstream journalism and there was no doubt that the government would come up with a press-friendly law.

The government has set up a fund of Rs 30 million for subsistence of senior journalists and it has a target of increasing its size to Rs 100 million.Similarly, NCP standing committee member and lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai was of the view that the government should accept media criticisms about it, asserting that media should maintain impartiality while pointing out the government weaknesses.

He clarified that Nepal is very liberal over the issue of press freedom in the world. Expressing commitment that the Parliament would not formulate any laws curtailing press freedom, leader Bhattarai said that the media should be responsible. He also suggested that community radio should resolve the problems by coordinating and collaborating with local levels.

Likewise, Nepali Congress leader and former minister Hridayaram Thani urged the government to not curtail the rights of media at the force of two-third majority. Chiefs and representatives of 350 community radio stations across the nation, radio campaigners and leaders of media sector are been participating in the three-day conference. (RSS)

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