Mar 18, Kathmandu- Speaker Devraj Ghimire has been challenged by journalists to confirm the scandal.
Speaker Ghimire had expressed that 'journalists are for sale' during a meeting with the delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists in his office at Singha Durbar on Friday. Journalists have challenged him to show confirmation of that expression. The Federation of Journalists, Press Union, and Parliamentary Affairs Journalists Association have issued separate press releases and asked the speaker to confirm the allegations against the journalists.
In a statement issued by the Federation of Journalists' Federation, Provincial Committee on Saturday morning, 'by giving the statement that journalists are for sale, the speaker has not only reduced his official status, but has helped in the creation of the commentary that whatever he says will happen.' The Federation is of the opinion that the speaker's expression is indecent, immature and irresponsible.
The statement said, "Listening to logical and factual questions and responding to them is a different thing, but making unsubstantiated allegations based on empty assumptions is reprehensible." If any journalist has improperly interfered in his personal life so far, if he has pressured him for unfair benefits, if he has intentionally caused harm, and if the speaker has proof of it, he is still free to seek legal treatment. The Federation is always ready to assist for that. But it is regrettable that the expression is given to the entire press world in a way that is objectionable, slanderous, and creates distaste and disorder towards the profession itself.
According to the Federation, a serious question has arisen as to how the laws made in the Parliament will be media-friendly due to the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the highest body that creates laws to make the media sector orderly, dignified, and professional. The federation has called attention to the concerned parties to be serious and aware in this regard and has requested to immediately withdraw the speaker's statement.
Similarly, the Parliamentary Affairs Journalist Association said that they did not even imagine that the Speaker would have such a low level of thinking in terms of the media world. Expressing regret for Speaker Ghimire's opinion, the Parliamentary Affairs Journalist Association has always been committed to the provisions adopted by the country, the people, and the constitution and has also promised to raise its voice in favor of media-friendly laws.
While occupying the post of Speaker, society has also requested that the media should not forget the role played by the media during the difficult times of yesterday. The Press Union has mentioned that the expression against the independent press of Nepal given by the sitting speaker in a dignified position that should play a neutral, impartial, and independent role is immature and indecent.
Journalists have been continuously working in favor of good governance and civil rights by bringing out the incidents of corruption, irregularity and injustice. It is sad that the Speaker of the Assembly should make it easier to make laws related to communication in order to make the communication sector orderly, dignified, and professional. The opinion expressed by the speaker to defame the entire journalism sector is reprehensible", the statement said.
The union has also stated that it believes in democracy, rule of law, freedom of the press and expression, and professional journalism.