Reporters Without Borders noted today that Nepalese cable TV operators have been allowed to resume carrying Indian cable channels for the first time since King Gyanendra assumed full powers on 1 February, but it deplored the fact that the measure excludes Nepal1, the only Indian channel concentrating on Nepalese news, which is still being censored.
The government took the decision to allow Indian channels again on 8 June. Cable operators received letters containing the authorisation on 12 June and resumed carrying the Indian channels, above all Aaj Tak, Star News, Zee News, Sahara, NDTV and Doordarshan, at 4 p.m. the same day.
"This is a move towards normalisation that will add a bit of colour to what is currently a very bleak media landscape in Nepal," Reporters Without Borders said, while stressing its condemnation of Nepal 1’s exclusion.
Sources said secretary of ministry of information and communications Lokman Singh Karki personally called cable operators to point that the ban was still in place for Nepal 1, a Nepalese station based in New Delhi.
Privately-owned and run by a leading Indian journalist, Nalini Singh, Nepal 1 has in the past irritated the Royal Nepalese Army with its content, especially a report last year about how soldiers were ambushed by Maoist rebels.