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Party Split Disrupts FM Radio

The Radio Paschimanchal in Palpa, a district in the western region of Nepal, has been disrupted for 10 days following the disputes among the owners.

The Radio run by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist) has stopped airing because of the split in the party.

The splinter Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist) and the UCPN-Maoist engaged in dispute over the division of the party properties which also resulted in the disruption of the FM Radio.

Chief Editor of the Palpa Samacharpatra weekly, Bhagawan Bhandari, said, "Disputes between the UCPN-Maoist and the CPN-Maoist led to the disruption of the FM. It is because of the dispute on division of properties following the UCPN Maoist split and the CPN (Maoist) emerged."
Even the Nawa Sambad weekly run by the UCPN-Maoist has stopped publication owing to the dispute in the two parties.

News Chief at the FM, Bhojraj Bhattarai was exerted pressure by district secretary of the UCPN-Maoist Netra Prasad Pande not to operate the FM reasoning the CPN-Maoist activists took over the management.

The Radio Paschimanchal is disrupted time and again due to the dispute in the parties thereby hindering media and violating people's right to information.

The media need to be independent and fair. However, the Maoist parties have failed to adhere to the independence of media but kept it under their influence. The pressure on the editor to stop airing is condemnable because it has violated people's right to information.

Therefore, Freedom Forum urges the Maoist parties to respect people's right and immediately resume the FM radio and the weekly newspaper by rising above the partisan interest. Media under any party's control can not suit democratic norms.