Sunday, September 16, 2007

TWMN - Bhutan fights for media freedom

Dated: September 16, 2007

Press Statement

Third World Media Network – Bhutan Chapter (TWMN – Bhutan) Chapter is a media organization established and affiliated to Dhaka-based Third World Media Network. TWMN – Bhutan Chapter is celebrating its first anniversary on September 16.

TWMN – Bhutan strikes to work for the media freedom, freedom of speech and expression in Bhutan. It is a body comprising young journalists practicing for unhindered press to be established in a democratic Bhutan. On this eve of its first anniversary, TWMN – Bhutan would like to welcome the launching of SAFMA – Bhutan Chapter, in August 5, 2007, in the harbinger of media freedom in Bhutan. TWMN – Bhutan will be operating fully in accordance to the principles of ‘free press, without being haunted by the absolute Druk monarch’.

TWMN – Bhutan is equally concerned whether the august body like the SAFMA already accredited for its advocacy on behalf of press and media professionals, would be able to carryout its mission in this small country where media is strictly under government control.

TWMN – Bhutan is prepared to recognize the contribution made by journalists working towards press freedom in Bhutan and have established a practice of awarding ‘The Best Reporter of the year’. Thus, TWMN – Bhutan announces Mr. Sangey Oendray, who is a Bhutan-based correspondent of Bhutan News Service, ‘Reporter of the Year – 2007’. On this behalf, we would also like to applaud Oendray for his contribution particularly in independent media sectors in Bhutan and expect similar contribution in the days ahead.

On the occasion of its first anniversary, TWMN – Bhutan would like to call on all working and potential media professionals and international media organizations to envision the ambient atmosphere of complete media freedom in Bhutan. Our deep attention has been drawn towards blockage of a popular site i.e. since June from being viewed within the country. This is a sheer attack on media sectors. We urge Bhutanese government to allow its operation at the earliest. TWMN – Bhutan also believes that unless Bhutanese regime guarantees media freedom in the country, it cannot step into complete ‘democratization’.

General Secretary
Teju Chouhan
TWMN – Bhutan Chapter
Kathmandu, Nepal.

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