Take heed of Mass Communication Bill, practice ethical journalism: Surya Thapa Press Adviser to the PM
REPORTERS CLUB EVENT: “The new mass communication bill of 2019 is designed to protect personal liberty and interests and I urge you to keep track of it,” said Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli’s newly appointed Press Advisor Surya Thapa speaking at a special interaction program organized last week.
During the program, Thapa also expressed his grave dissatisfaction toward the media for disseminating unwanted and extreme updates on the PM’s health which was untrue and driven without verification.
PM OLI’S HEALTH
Speaking at the Reporters Club last Friday in a press interaction program he said that ” the PM’s health has been improving rapidly. There is an entire team of Doctors including the PM’s private physician and senior doctors looking after his case. He should be discharged next week after he makes a full recovery”.
Thapa spoke and reminisced about the PM’s health which gave him difficulties time and again since his days spent in prison.
“PM Oli has passed through life and death situations and several phases of his life. His health is not all of a sudden situation, and it was prolonged up to this point. He first was ill when he was 42, and then that was also followed by a renal transplant.
It has been 12 years since he has had a renal transplant. So let us not say that he just had a disease or he was ill all of a sudden which not the case is. Various media houses are making stories regarding the PM’s health. Stories are only good in movies. In practical medial life, they should portray what is the truth and not spread unnecessary fear among the people”.
” The Prime Minister had gone for a regular appendicitis operation, but the media blew it out of proportion by stating he was extremely serious and hence kept in a ventilator. That was exaggerated and wrong. The media should not twist things and keep saying that the PM’s health is in dire straits”.
MASS COMMUNICATION BILL 2019
Speaking about the new Mass Communication Bill of 2019, Thapa said “laws in Nepal exist to protect individual freedom and personal liberty. This bill has been arranged to safeguard personal liberty as against violation and infringement of personal rights and by Nepal’s private media sector.
This has been passed by the Parliament verified and the law is now active. Journalists need to be careful and responsible in their work. The media need to indulge in ethical and responsible journalism. This should be put into practice not only in words but in action”.
Thapa also spoke about how the recent media reporters regarding the PM’s health were against his privacy. “Health information is confidential in most parts of the world, and personal medical records and data and considered private.
Here the media has printed anything they wanted regarding the PM’s health which stressed the general public. Nepali media has not been responsible for setting an example and he expressed his sadness.
“All necessary facilities were being provided to the media, for meetings, conferences, and allowing them to take live footage. We have also made briefings regarding the close door and private meetings”.
“We are now in the process of publicly auditing online media portals, and supervising content. There are laws and a system set. We have to follow the regulations and act responsibly as journalists. No one is above the law of the land”
“We should learn to stick within the boundaries of our profession, and we should have a certain dignity with our work. Let everyone take note of this, read the communication notifications that are being sent regarding the health of the PM, and do not write without verification and research”.
Press Adviser Thapa also spoke regarding the border dispute.
“The PM has made it clear that it was not taught in school textbooks about Limpiadhura, Lipulek, and Kalapani belonging to Nepal. The issue came to light when Prem Singh Dhami became the Member of Parliament. It was under K.P.Oli’s team that studied the Mahakali treaty and exposed the problem of border encroachment. The PM has made it clear that not an inch of Nepal’s land will be given away.
The remarks made by former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on PM Oli are factually incorrect. This is just a crazy statement made in line with the elections and nothing more. A similar map was made public when Deuba was the PM back in 1996-97, he did not say a word at that time.
Here we had bilateral meetings, the Foreign Ministry made an official statement, and we are in the process of dialogue to resolve the dispute. We are working at a Ministerial level, and we will use diplomatic skills along with our Ambassadors to resolve the issue.
CURRENT WORK OF NCP LED GoN
The PM has made it clear in his quarterly meetings that work needs to speed-up. The results were not up to the mark and many further meetings were organized to get details of current activities by the government in various sectors.
The reorganization of the Council of Ministers was an important direction for the government and with secretaries appointed the PM wants all prospective goals and plans set to be fulfilled.
We are always auditing and keeping close track of all our work. We are constantly evaluating ourselves and we hope for related progress. The Ministers have to perform successfully, and that is the direction the ministries are currently undertaking.
“My work is to advise the PM, and give him suggestions, it is the Ministers who have to work according to their full capacity, and the PM has to be the guiding force”.
Thapa also said that the government is working for the people and talking about the recent plight of the medical students he said that “the government is against private colleges charging excess fees.
We cannot tolerate a system where students are exploited this won’t be allowed. The government will step in to ensure that there are no unfair tariffs imposed on the students. The government is constantly working in favor of the people”.