Press freedom should be monitored: Maoists

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Kathmandu, Oct 6: Amid a spate of attacks by the Maoists on media organisations in Nepal, the rebels have clarified that they are all for freedom of the press but it requires ''monitoring''.

Maoist spokesperson and Nepal Minister for Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara said his party believed in healthy competition and was against any attack on media.

However, the freedom should be relative and based on the need of the people and society and there was a need for monitoring, he added.

At an interaction programme organised by the Maoists' department of Broadcasting Mr Mahara said, ''As we arrived at this stage through a certain kind of schooling, we have a strong background that guides us.'' ''Therefore, we often happen to face contradictions with the media, But in principle we are not against press freedom,'' he added.

A senior Maoist leader Janardan Sharma (Prabhakar), emphasised that press freedom should be defined as per the interests of a majority of the people.

''We are not in favor of press freedom that is against the majority of the people,'' he said.

Vice President of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists Shiva Gaunle stressed on the need for reforming existing media laws. ''The acts and regulations drafted under the king's regime are entirely irrelevant. Amending them has become essential,'' he said.


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