Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Himalmedia provocation and Napalese Workers - Prachanda condemns provocations

Even as CPN (Maoists) faces national and international condemnation for Sunday's violent assault on Himalmedia Publication House by its cadres, the head of the former rebel party's trade union Shalikram Jammarkattel has warned of "bigger attacks" against the same media in future if the "peaceful demands" to re-instate workers are not fulfilled.

In an interview with Avenues TV's news based program Khabar Vitra ko Khabar Tuesday, Jammarkattel, who is also a Maoist lawmaker, accused Himalmedia of having flouted "the orders" of both the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Labour to fulfill the "peaceful demands" for the re-instatement of two marketing staff, who he said were Maoist union leaders at Himalmedia.

Both labour and communications ministries are run by Maoist ministers.

Contrary to reports which said that workers associated with Maoists had attacked the offices and personnel of Himalmedia, Jammarkattel claimed that it was infact Himalmedia journalists and staff who started attacking his "laborer friends" when they went there for a meeting on Sunday and were injured in the process. He said after being attacked they had no choice but to fight back for their own safety.

Interestingly, the cover story published in the latest issue of Himal Khabarpatrika, which is believed to have sparked the attack on Himalmedia, is very critical of Jamarkattel. The story claims Jammarkattel heads the campaign of intimidation against businesses and free press and was involved in “extorting money from businesses, bombing and kidnapping owners who refused” in the past.

Meanwhile, Young Communist League (YCL), which has also been blamed of carrying out concerted attacks on media persons and media houses, has vowed to expose "the ones who have demanded to disband the YCL".

The Maoist-aligned youth wing reached the decision at the end of its two-day long central committee meeting Tuesday and comes at a time when there has been growing pressure from various quarters to disband the youth fronts affiliated to various parties that has increasingly become militant.

On Monday, Prime Minister Prachanda had denied any direct involvement of Maoist party in the assault on Himalmedia and claimed that "some immoral agents" who have "infiltrated" into the Maoist party and ranks were in fact involved it. He has also expressed commitment that the government will probe the incident and take action against those involved in the attack.

Source Nepal News

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