February 17, 2005

Radio Free Nepal

MediaCow goes international....

Two weeks ago Nepal's King Gyanendra sacked the nation's government and assumed power. He said this was necessary because the politicians had failed to hold elections, and civil war with Maoist rebels had escalated.

Media reports from India said the king had taken power for three years, and some politicians were under house arrest. Sher Bahadur Deuba, the deposed Prime Minister, denounced the King’s actions as a coup, accusing him of exploiting the intensifying Maoist insurgency to snatch power in a violation of the constitution.

At the time of the bloodless coup, a weblog was created by what appears to be a collective of journalists within Nepal. (Of course, there's no way to prove that it's not an elaborate hoax from somebody living somewhere else. But by that token, perhaps MediaCow lives in Copenhagen...)

The weblog, called Radio Free Nepal, states:

King Gyandendra of Nepal has issued a ban on independent news broadcasts and has threatened to punish newspapers for reports that run counter to the official monarchist line. Given that any person in Nepal publishing reports critical of "the spirit of the royal proclamation" is subject to punishment and/or imprisonment, contributors to this blog will publish their reports from Nepal anonymously.

Since February 1, Radio Free Nepal has (sporadically) published articles that mainly focus on the media's response to the coup. An email interview with the author can be read here. It's one weblog that is worth bookmarking: Radio Free Nepal.

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