Monday, November 28, 2005

Attack On Radio Sagarmatha: A Regime On Its Way Down

  1. Attacks on politial parties.
  2. Attacks on students.
  3. Attacks on civil servants.
  4. Attacks on the media in general.
  5. Attacks on NGOs.
  6. Recent atttack on Kantipur FM.
  7. The Most recent attack on Radio Sagarmatha.

The list is long. This regime has a rather poor scorecard. That it is going down before February is a foregone conclusion. It could seek a soft landing. And you do that by exhibiting table manners.

The relentless attacks on the media is reprehensible. These are fascist tendencies.

Tanka Goebbels Dhakal

For Immediate Dissemination
27 November 2005
9: 45 PM

Nepal government raids radio station, shuts down transmission

Kathmandu - Radio Sagarmatha, the pioneering public radio station of Nepal, was raided tonight by the police for attempting to carry a BBC Nepali service relay broadcast that included the interview of the Maoist leader 'Prachanda'. The staff of the station has been taken away to an unknown location, equipment has been confiscated, and a letter from the state administration has been delivered to the station to forthwith suspend all broadcasts.

The interview with Prachanda dealt with the recent agreement between the political parties and the Maoist rebels to work towards a resolution of the conflict in the country. King Gyanendra is presently on a tour of Africa, and is expected back on 2 December.

Laxman Upreti, the Chairman of Radio Sagarmatha, said, "Nepal has been the South Asian country pioneering the role of FM radio in informing the public, and Radio Sagarmatha has been the vanguard of this movement. The action by the government is a dagger to the heart of our radio revolution."

Mr. Upreti said, "At this point, we are on the lookout for our staff taken in by the authorities. At this hour of crisis, we seek the support of all who value freedom of speech and expression in Nepal."

"According to our information, seven other radio stations around the country were also prevented from carrying the BBC Nepali service feed by security forces."

Simultaneously with the action by the government on Radio Sagarmatha, it has been learnt that the government has also suspended the BBC World Service English relay transmission from the government-owned Radio Nepal.

Coincidentally, Radio Sagarmatha was celebrating its 20th anniversary with an evening reception attended by high level government officials, among others, when the raid was carried out.

Contact: Ghamaraj Luitel, Tel: +977 1-98510-27344

In The News

Nepal government closes down radio station, arrests journalists Rediff, India
Raid on Radio Sagarmatha condemned, journos still in detention NepalNews
Raid on Radio Sagarmatha condemned, journos still in detention Nepali Times
Govt Closes Down Radio Sagarmatha NewsLine Nepal
Govt shuts down Sagarmatha FM Kathmandu Post
Nepali police raid radio station, detain reporters
Reuters AlertNet, UK
Radio Sagarmatha goes off air, four journos still in custody, Nepal
Royal Govt Closes Down Pioneering Radio United We Blog, Nepal
Police seize equipment of Radio Sagarmatha, arrest five ... Nepali Times, Nepal
Nepal govt closes down radio station, arrests journalists Press Trust of India, India
NHRC 'helpless' before the government NepalNews
UML accuses authorities of misusing govt. machinery
Maoists ready to rethink on monarchy
Accept constituent assembly: Nepal Kathmandu Post, Nepal

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