Tuesday, October 18, 2005

More Screws for Press

If the King's democracy is the real one, there would have no need to shut the mouths. But his model of democracy won't allow people to speak up anything about him and his family. The new Communication Ordinance promulgated on the first day of long holidays of the biggest festival in the country, on Oct 9 – probably to steam down the protest as many were outside the Kathmandu Valley – gives media no rights of write or broadcast anything about him and his family. Why? Simply because he doesn't want his wrongdoings to be known by the people.

The new ordinance is harassing for press as there are effectively unexpected punishments – a threat to media. It doesn't allow a media house to run three types of media – very good, but what about the government? Won't it effect for their three types of media?

The ordinance won't allow any radio station to uplink their broadcast to other station or region – a practice state-owned Radio Nepal is doing for many many years. Nepal has been pacesetters in the community and private radio broadcasting in South Asia which will remain no more. If the ordinance is allowed it would kill the private radio.

It also bans all radio to broadcast news because radio news has been much more popular than expected. The government is saying the practice exists nowhere in the world. Okay, if something that doesn't exist in the world should also be removed from Nepal, let's remove active monarchy. Does any country these days is ruled by the King?

Media, a sector that fostered in the democracy, has grown into an industry. Journalists like us have been able to live by the profession – unlike 15 years ago when journalists were considered beggars and blackmailers and political activists. But now it looks like we are going backwards and the King want nothing more than state-owned media that would broadcast his walk among the citizens for half an hour in prime time news.

Journalists are taking on road to protest the ordinance, thanks to some people who have registered writ in the Supreme Court thus it hasn't been enforced yet.

What the king should understand now is that closing his own eyes won't make all people blind.

1 comment:

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