India-Nepal tension: The Nepal government has said that it will take ‘political and legal’ action against some Indian media channels to broadcast ‘fake and fabricated’ news.
Recently, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal had met senior leaders of the Communist Party, the news of which was broadcast on these channels.
Nepal says that Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hao Yang Chhi recently met and interacted with Nepali Communist Party leaders in Kathmandu. A section of the Indian media has been mocking their conversation at the diplomatic level.
On Thursday evening, Nepali cable operators stopped broadcasting Indian television channels in Nepal, saying that “objectionable news about the Nepali Prime Minister is being aired.”
K Dhruv Sharma, an operator named Max TV, told the media that “some Indian channels are broadcasting derogatory content about Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and the Chinese ambassador.”
Nepal government warning
Nepal government spokesman Dr Yuvraj Khativada has warned on Thursday that strict ‘political and legal action’ can be taken against them if such news is broadcast in the Indian media in an insensitive manner.
In a press conference, Khativada said that his government believes in free media. He said, “The government does not want to impose any kind of restriction on the media. But we want the media to be disciplined.”
Pointing to the negative coverage about Nepal in a section of the Indian media, he said that Nepal does not want foreign media to “hurt the sovereignty, national unity and respect of the Nepali people”.
Khatiwada did not name any special media institution but said that if such coverage continues, the Government of Nepal will have to stop them from doing so and be forced to take strict ‘political and diplomatic steps’ against them.
He said that “In such a situation the government will have to find political and legal avenues”.
Nepal’s current crisis
On Thursday evening, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hao Yang Chhi had a very important meeting with Communist Party Chairman Pushp Kamal Dahal Prachanda in the capital Kathmandu.
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador had met other senior leaders of the party including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, former Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal, amid deep differences within the ruling Communist Party.
Most members of the ruling party’s standing committees expressed dissatisfaction with the strained relations with India following the controversy over the Prime Minister’s way of dealing with the Kovid-19 epidemic and the script. On these issues, members demanded the resignation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, after which the crisis within the party deepened.
Oli refused to resign, but after this a round of informal conversation between Oli and Prachanda began. However, no solution could be found for this political crisis.
Nestled in the Himalayan hills, Nepal shares its border with India and China. In such a situation, China is trying to play a diplomatic role there.
China has been trying to get the different communist parties of Nepal to join hands and this effort was successful when about two years ago, two important communist parties of Nepal, Marxist-Leninist and Maoist, just before the elections Merged and emerged as the largest party in Parliament.
But in recent days, Chinese Ambassador Hao Yang Chhi was seen in India with suspicion and in a part of the media his meeting with senior Nepali leaders was made fun of. Such posts were also seen on social media.
Concern about Indian media
Nepalese diplomats and senior journalists express concern about this whole issue. They believe that such coverage will have an impact on the mutual relations of Nepal and India and the relations of Nepalis and Indians.
Nepal Journalists Federation, a Nepalese journalists’ organization, issued a statement on Thursday about negative coverage of news related to Nepal in India and termed some such reports as “an example of sensational journalism”.
The Journalists Association appealed to the Indian media to be responsible and impartial and said that they should not “mock the principles of universal press freedom”.
Bishnu Rimal, Advisor to the Nepalese Prime Minister, says that “The news and comments coming in the Indian media against the Nepalese government and the Nepalese Prime Minister are objectionable. We condemn this. Such news is not in line with the basic principles of journalism.”
At the same time, Surya Thapa, Press Advisor of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that “Prime Minister Oli is aware that wrong news is being shown against him in some Indian channels”.