August 14, 2019 08:00 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Chairperson of the National Assembly (NA) Ganesh Timilsina has said the Media Council Bill presented in the Parliament would be amended.
An agreement has been reached among political parties in amending the Bill amid protest from media, he said while attending an interaction with the theme of 'Role of National Assembly and Media' organized here by the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ). Suggestions from the FNJ would be incorporated in the Bill, he said.
Likewise, on the occasion, vice-chairperson of the NA Shashi Kala Dahal said suggestions from stakeholders relating to the Bill would be accepted. Ruling Nepal Communist Party leader Dinanath Sharma said discussions would be held with the FNJ regarding the Bill. Main opposition Nepali Congress leader Surendra Pandey expected amended Media Bill to be media-friendly as both the government and FNJ have agreed on amending it.
Chief Whip of the Nepal Communist Party, Khimlal Bhattarai, expressed the view that the Bill would be amended as per the FNJ's suggestion and would move ahead as per the principle of separation of power and press freedom. Similarly, Chief Whip of Nepali Congress, Sarita Prasai, said press freedom should not be curtailed, as the press has been raising voices for democracy and republic during difficult times facing the country.
President of FNJ, Govinda Acharya, said that all laws related to media including bill should be formulated based on international norms and values of democracy. He said the National Assembly should look at whether the laws related to media to be formulated are based on international commitment, sentiment, and aspiration of the constitution and democratic norms.
Likewise, NCP lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari said that any law related to journalism would not be formulated against the constitution while the leader of the Federal Socialist Forum, Pramila Kumari, expressed the view media should raise voice against corruption and crime. Former President of FNJ, Taranath Dahal, senior journalist Tirtha Koirala, among others said that any laws related to media should be formulated only after holding discussion with FNJ.