Government Will Never Restrict Freedom Of Expression: Karki

Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki has expressed the government’s commitment to protecting freedom of expression.
“The present government will not bring any laws that curtail freedom of expression and will also amend any such laws brought in the past,” Minister Karki, who is also the spokesperson for the federal government, said while making public the decisions of the cabinet meeting held on Thursday.

In response to a question from a journalist, Karki clarified that the new rules introduced with regard to YouTube content was an attempt to manage the platform and make it dignified, not stifle any freedoms.

At a press conference organised at the ministry on Friday, Karki informed that the cabinet had approved a number of foreign visits including one to be made by a delegation led by Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Krishna Kumar Shrestha to the United Arab Emirates, Seychelles and Qatar.

Similarly, the government has also decided to allow Dr. Pem Narayan Kandel, secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, to travel to New York, United States of America, to participate in the government consultation on the Stockholm+50 LDC engagement strategy preparatory meeting to be held on March 28. It has also approved a visit by a delegation under Udaya Raj Sapkota, secretary of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, to the United Nations headquarters, USA, to participate in the fourth session of the inter-governmental conference on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction to be organised from March 7 to March 18.
Karki informed that government-level visits to various countries were aimed at promoting Nepal in the world and garner necessary assistance.

The Council of Ministers has also decided to form a team under Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Narayan Khadka to hold bilateral talks during the upcoming visit by Saudi Arabia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs on Monday and Tuesday. On the occasion, Nepal and Saudi Arabia are scheduled to formalise a general cooperation agreement for which the government has authorised Foreign Minister Khadka to sign on behalf of the country.

Minister Karki also informed that the government had formed a team under the joint secretary of the Agricultural Development Division of the Ministry of Agriculture to participate in the joint steering committee set up under the Government-to-Government agreement Nepal signed with India to procure fertiliser. Under the same agreement, the government has decided to fix the Krishi Samagri Company as the entity to purchase said fertiliser.

The cabinet also decided to form a rapid action task force comprised of stakeholders to solve the issues seen at the Bancharedanda landfill site and appoint Umesh Prasad Thani as the executive director of the Nepal Oil Corporation. It also approved several directives relating to the accident insurance of journalists, construction of wildlife-friendly infrastructure and providing of educational encouragement to the children of civil servants along with the regulations regarding industrial enterprise and public procurement.

Source : TRN,