BISHNU NEPAL AND HARI LAMICHHANE, KATHMANDU, Oct 26: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has called for making the democracy celebration successful by participating in the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections taking place on November 26 and December 7.
Addressing the foundation stone laying function of the Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS), the country’s only news agency, at the RSS central office, Bhadrakali Plaza on Thursday, he underlined the need of making the foundation of democracy strong through political stability and economic prosperity.
Before this, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a new office building of RSS at the news agency’s premises.
PM Deuba, recalling the crucial role played by the mass media in the democracy movements in the past, said, “I believe that the RSS will always follow an impartial and a committed role towards the constitution and democracy in the context of whether it is in the consolidation of the foundation of democracy through political stability and constitution implementation or in protecting the democratic rights through the citizens’ participation in the elections.”
He expressed his commitment to always remain active to support the development and unity of the nation by means of political stability and economic prosperity, and to address the aspirations of the general public.
While expressing his happiness over having the opportunity to lay the foundation stone of the RSS office building, the Prime Minister described it as an important occasion in the government’s efforts to carrying out the post-earthquake reconstruction in a smooth and uninterrupted manner.
Noting that the mass media has developed in the form of an industry after the restoration of democracy, he said now there was legal provision for operating news agency from the private sector also.
“In the context of no news agency coming into being from the private sector so far, the RSS alone has been providing news services to the media collecting news from within the country and from abroad. This has been possible through your untiring efforts,” the Prime Minister said.
He said RSS which was established as the government media in 2018 BS, originally as the Rastriya Sambad Samiti and later as Rastriya Samachar Samiti, has established itself as a news bank disseminating impartial, credible and official news.
Stating that although established in the period democracy had been hijacked, RSS has been disseminating the factual and objective news in different periods, PM Deuba said the efforts made by RSS to maintain its position as a democratic institution is a matter of happiness.
Minister of State for Information and Communications, Tapta Bahadur Bista expressed happiness over the rebuilding of the RSS’ office building that was damaged by the earthquake. He directed that the building should be completed on time.
The Minister of State also expressed the Ministry’s commitment to making initiatives for providing all cooperation required for completion of the building on the stipulated date. He urged all the RSS staff to fulfill their responsibilities taking RSS as their home.
RSS chairman Kul Chandra Wagle noted that RSS has established itself as an independent, impartial and credible news agency and the state’s news bank. He also expressed gratitude to the PM for the love and closeness that he showed towards RSS, adding that the National News Agency has established a unique culture and prestige in the mass communication sector.
General Manager of RSS, Opendra Sharma, stressed on increasing investment in the RSS, arguing that the able and efficient state-run news agency would contribute to the State to be strong and able.
Stating that RSS was moving ahead embracing the new technology and professionalism, he also mentioned that the RSS had been playing the role of a bridge between the State and public by disseminating the State’s affairs to the public and by helping public share their issues and opinion to the State.
Similarly, Parikshit Kadariya, Officiating Chief of the Central Level Project Implementation and Building Construction Unit under the Ministry of Urban Development shed light on the ultra modern quake-resilient building of the RSS was going to be built at the estimated cost of over Rs 120 million.
He expressed his confidence for the timely construction of the new building in the place of 45-year-old central office building of RSS at Bhadrakali Plaza that received damages during the 7.6 magnitude earthquake.
The Central Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Urban Development has taken the responsibility of the building construction while the private construction company, Siddababa Construction Pvt Ltd, was awarded the contract for the same.
According to the contract, the building construction will be completed on Shrawan 6, 2076 BS.
Financial assistance for the construction of a well-equipped four-storied office building is assured by the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
The building will have all the facilities necessary for operating news, audio,-visual clips and photo services.
Present on today’s event was Manindra Raj Shrestha, one of the three founders of RSS. Two other founders – Ramraj Poudyal and Govinda Biyogi – are no more.
Also in attendance at the event were newly appointed secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications Kedar Bahadur Adhikari and National Reconstruction Authority’s newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Yubaraj Bhusal.
Likewise, the Board members of RSS, former Chairpersons and General Manager of RSS, Officiating General Manager of the Gorkhapatra Corporation and media persons from various media outlets also attended the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Five Brahmin Batuks from Kanti Bhairav Gurukul at Gokarnewshwor-4 had chanted the vedic mantra while PM Deuba laid the foundation stone as per the Hindu tradition. The ceremony was coordinated by Balmeeki Vidyapeeth’s Associate Professor, Shree Ram Sapkota.
RSS, the only state-owned news agency in the country, has been in the service of the nation and the people for the five-and-a-half decades through its authentic, comprehensive and diverse news services.