September 6, 2008

Nepal to Get Media Centres at PM’s Office, Residence

Text of report headlined "Media centre at the prime minister's office soon" published by Nepalese newspaper Annapurna Post on 6 September

Kathmandu, [Friday] 5 September: Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" has expressed a commitment to setting up media centres at his office and at his residence soon.

Prachanda expressed this commitment to a team of media representatives which met the prime minister at [his official residence in the] Baluwatar neighbourhood of the capital Friday under the leadership of Reporters' Club Chairman Rishi Dhamala. Once the media centres are set up they will help facilitate the flow of information.

In the absence of a media centre, media workers who go to the prime minister's residence to gather news about meetings and discussions have been facing difficulties. Reporters who have previously gone to gather news about the meetings of the seven parties have had to spend the night under the open sky in the winter.

The media workers presented the prime minister an eight-point demand including full guarantee of press freedom, immediate implementation of the Working Journalist Act and setting up of the media centres.

Accepting the letter of demands, Prachanda said the media sector would be fully respected during his tenure in office. Stating that press freedom would be guaranteed through the constituent assembly, he gave assurances that the Working Journalist Act would be brought into implementation immediately. The prime minister lauded the contribution made by the press in the setting up of the democratic republic.

In another context he expressed suspicion that some forces were involved in a ploy to bring down the government, and said that as the country itself would fail if the present government failed, the masses who participated in the democratic movement would protect this government. He, however, did not say anything about the forces involved in the ploy to bring down the government.

Originally published by Annapurna Post, Kathmandu, in Nepali 6 Sep 08, p 2.

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