Leaders flay Kantipur obstruction

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Leaders flay Kantipur obstruction

Aug 24, 2014-

The leaders of major political parties on Sunday condemned CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union for infringing the rights to information and free speech of the citizens by blocking the distribution of The Kathmandu Post and  Kantipur, the national dailies of Kantipur  Publications.

Leader from Nepali Congress, UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML also appealed to the concerned stakeholders to immediately end the obstruction and ensure smooth distribution of the dailies.

Speaking at an interaction organised at Reporters’ Club in the Capital, UCPN (Maoist) leader Agni Sapkota said no one has the right to infringe press freedom and people’s right to information.

The CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union has been obstructing the distribution and publication of Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post for the past four days to press the Publications management into fulfilling several of their unfair demands.

The union has been intimidating the delivery boys and creating obstructions at various of distribution points in Kathmandu and other parts of the country, employing union members who are not associated with the Publications. They also obstructed the printing of the dailies from Bharatpur and Chitwan on Friday. NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha condemned the act of the CPN-Maoist trade union to weaken the media, which he said is “the bedrock of democracy”.

“It is wrong to create obstruction in the publication and distribution of Kantipur Publication’s two major dailies by putting forth such difficult demands,” said Shrestha.

CPN-UML Secretary Pradeep Gyawali said the ongoing obstruction by the trade union would severely hamper the fundamental rights of the citizens.

“The agitating union should put forth their demands in a peaceful manner,” said Gyawali.

He further said that the CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union has no right to curtail press freedom, freedom of expression and people’s right to information “in the name of the rights of labourers”.

The leaders urged the trade union and the Publications management to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner and remove the obstruction in the print and distribution of the dailies.

Calls for peaceable solution

KATHMANDU: The National Human Rights Foundation has expressed serious concerns over the obstruction enforced by the CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union on print and distribution of The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur dailies. Issuing a  statement on Sunday, the foundation called for a democratic and peaceful solution to the problem. “Disrupting media that serve people’s right to information is against the norms and values of democracy,” read the statement issued by HURFON Chairman Bhawani Prasad Kharel. He has urged the concerned parties to seek a solution through dialogue. The ruling CPN-UML has also denounced the trade union for impeding the print and distribution of the dailies.

“The ongoing obstruction at Kantipur by the All Nepal Revolutionary Press and Publication Union cannot be considered fair. The use of force and coercion is wrong,” UML Publication and Publicity Chief Pradeep Gyawali said in a statement. “The CPN-UML demands the concerned parties to immediately resolve the ongoing problem in order to ensure the people’s right to information and uninterrupted distribution of newspapers.”

The media fraternity has widely condemned the obstruction, urging the government to clear the hurdle in the publication and distribution of the dailies and to create an environment that normalises the papers’ distribution.

Published: 25-08-2014 09:23

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