Nepal: Three Journalists under scrutiny for news about Dalai Lama

Kathmandu: Three journalists from Nepal's state are under probe for reporting news about Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Journalists Mohani Risal, Somnath Lamichhane and Jivan Bhandari who work for the foreign desk of Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) are being investigated over the news on Dalai Lama - much to China's anger.

"They are under probe for dispatching such content which is very sensational for us," Hari Adhikari "Syamal", chairman of the RSS informed.

The probe was started after the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology ordered an investigation of the issue.

"They are being probed for the issue of a Dalai Lama related story following instructions by Ministry (Communications and Information Technology). The journalists have given their answer about coverage, they have mentioned that it was based on humanitarian ground and had a strong news sense and value as it was an issue of concern for all," an investigation team official informed ANI.

"This is not the first time that a journalist from RSS has been probed. Previously, the Chinese Embassy has had us pressured to censor news content as well as highlight those of their interest. Working space has been crippled due to this," a senior reporter confirmed.

"We only wrote the news that we received from a subscribed foreign wire service. We transcribed the English contents mainly about the admission of Dalai Lama in hospital, improvement in health condition and his discharge. This caught the attention of the North because it bore a New Delhi dateline," one of the reporters being probed claimed, referring to China as "North".

The Government of Nepal under the Prime Ministership of KP Sharma Oli last week have had registered the particular new bill in Parliament Secretariat proposing to fine journalists, media outlets, editors, publishers if they are found to be violating media code of ethics.

"The council can also get the aggrieved persons or institutions compensated if they suffer any loss due to the publication or broadcast of the material violating the code of conduct issued by the council," the section 18 (1) of the new bill states.

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