-  Sunday 20 September 2020

    Bhattarai rejects Maoist link to media labour row

     -  The Rising Nepal

    Oct 02 2007 - Senior leader of the CPN-Maoist Dr. Baburam Bhattarai said Wednesday that it was unfortunate to link his party and its movement in the conflict between the workers and the owners of Kantipur Publications.

    He said that the Maoist party was in favour of freedom of press and expression and not against any media house, including Kantipur Publications.

    "It won't do any good to any one if the problems between the workers and the owners of the Kantipur Publications are intensified and linked that with a political party and its movement,? said Dr. Bhattarai at an interaction programme organised by All Nepal Communications, Printing and Publication Workers' Union.

    He said that the propaganda carried out by the publications was intentional only to defame the party.

    "Press freedom is not only related to the owners of the media house but also to the rights of the journalists and the employees,? said Dr. Bhattarai, who is also in-charge of the Federation of All Nepal Trade Union.

    Blaming that the Federation of Nepalese Journalist had not studied the issues seriously and has stood unilaterally for the rights of the owners, he urged the FNJ to think of the workers in the media houses as well.

    He claimed that the management of the Publications had given him a positive response a few days back when he contacted and urged them to settle the problems through dialogue.

    "But they seemed to have relations with international powers and to ignore the demands of the workers,? he added. He further stressed on the need for solving the problems through talks.

    He said that there was attempt to distort the definition of lokatantra as if it was only for a few powerful people.

    He blamed the ministers and leaders of intensifying the problem unnecessarily by giving untoward expression against the rights of the workers.

    Dr. Bhattarai warned that the party would react vigorously if the Maoist party were unnecessarily linked with the problems between the workers and the owners.

    Saying that the demands of the workers were genuine, he urged them to protest peacefully.

    Jhalanath Khanal, senior leader of CPN-UML, said that publications should also pay attention to the rights of the working journalists.

    "The workers of any organisation should not be prevented from enjoying their rights,? he said and added, " A good media house like Kantipur Publications should not think of solving the problems through suppression.?

    He said that talks were needed to solve the problems and urged the FNJ and FNCCI for facilitation.

    FNJ vice president, Shiva Gaule, said that the publications should reinstate the workers who were expelled along with release of those in custody to make an atmosphere for dialogue.

    Assuring that the FNJ was ready to take initiative to solve the problems, he said that the workers should not obstruct in the publication of advertisements.

    Diwakar Golchha, acting president of Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) also stressed on negotiation between the workers and the management to seek a solution to the problems.

    "The relationship between the workers and the management is like that of nail and flesh and they should solve their problems through dialogue,? he said. He said FNCCI was ready to take initiative in resolving the problem.

    Binod Bahadur Shrestha, former president of FNCCI, said flexibility was needed to solve the problems and the rights of both the workers and the owners should be preserved.

    Mahendra Sherchan, chairman of Media Society, said that it was not good to create rift between the owner and the workers in any media. "The workers should be guaranteed of their rights,? he added.

    Bindukanta Ghimire, general secretary of Nepal Press Union, said that Kantipur Publications had expelled 12 of its workers because of their protests.

    He said that the publication house was not working for people's right to information. "The publications that stops printing newspaper only because of obstruction to the publication of advertisement cannot be a promoter of press freedom,? he said.

    Gopal Thapaliya, chairman of SAFMA Nepal, blamed the publications of being concerned only with profit.

    "Kantipur is trying to cash in on the struggle it had with monarchy during the April Movement,? he said.

    He said that the publications had not worked against the king willingly and claimed that the owners of the publication were forced by the journalists working there to side with the struggle against monarchy.

    Shyam Acharya, an expelled accountant of the publications, said he was still on contract despite working there for six years. He was fired because he participated in the protest.

    He said the union in Kantipur Publication had submitted a 22-point demand to the owners and there were several rounds of talks. But the management showed no interest to address the demands forcing them to come down to protests.

    Source : The Rising Nepal
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