NEPAL: FNJ condemns sacking of journos, wants them reinstated

Government fired 45 journalists from state-owned daily newspaper

Nepal News
Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) has condemned the sacking of 45 journalists from Gorkhapatra daily, a state-owned national daily and has demanded their immediate reinstatement.

The government had sacked them on 26 July. "FNJ is holding talks with the management of Gorkhapatra Corporation," said a statement by FNJ. The statement added that the management had said it can consider the Federation's demand, but has shown willingness to reinstate only some of them. Currently, there is a Maoist minister heading the Ministry of Information and Communication.

"The journalists were sacked by the management without any genuine reason or proper evaluation." When FNJ demanded the reason for ousting the scribes, the management said that they had to remove them so that they can recruit new journos to make the organisational structure inclusive, which sounds to be a baseless reason, according to FNJ president Bishnu Nisthuri.

These journalists have been working in the corporation on contract basis and some of them have worked for as long as 14 years. "The corporation cannot seize the bread and butter of its employees with baseless reasons and in the name of inclusiveness. The Federation demands the government to re-instate all the journalists immediately and to act more responsibly in the future."

Meanwhile the FNJ Gorkhapatra chapter in its press release has warned the management that if it fails to re-instate the journalists soon, they will launch a phase wise movement against the management.

On the other hand, Revolutionary Journalist Association, said to be close to Maoists, has issued a statement saying that they are in favour of inclusiveness and restructuring of government media. It said that only the journos whose contract had expired had been removed from Gorkhapatra corporation. The statement issued by Govinda Acharya, acting president of the association, also accuses that some persons 'who had aided and abetted royal regime in the past were involved in obstructing the progressive march of government media.'