Freedom Forum has been alarmed over Nepal Army’s preparation to run FM radio.
The plan of the Nepal Army (NA), the ultimate security body of the State, to run FM radio is a wrong concept, for it is a sheer breach of people’s rights. FM frequency is purely a public property.
At a time when the concept of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) was broached in Nepal sine the past one decade, and discussion and debates whetted to transform the State-run Radio Nepal and Nepal Television to the PSB model, the NA’s plan to operate the FM radio is a mistaken concept which violates the democratic principles and values. Only PSB can ensure people’s access to media, and creates foundation to ensure other rights to the people.
The news has come that NA began test transmission of FM radio in Dipayal, the far-west city of Nepal, recently.
In the changed constitutional and governance set up, the importance of PSB is ever growing.
“Running media by NA is not only ridiculous but also condemnable, because it, instead of ensuring right to people, tends to violate their rights, keeping in centre the interest of the security agency. There is high chance that the radio getting misused and controlled as the security agency turns aggressive and suppressive,” commented Executive Chief of FF, Mr Taranath Dahal, adding that in a democracy, the State should not run media in deed.
Freedom Forum therefore reiterates that the NA should not involve in such activity, so it withdraw the decision, as it is not correct, but a gross misplaced priority. Also the State should take concrete steps to forward the PSB which is a very good model to ensure freedom of expression and information.
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