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Friday, April 18th, 2014
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The quarterly magazine Himal Southasian  has reacted to a statement by leaders from the UCPN (Maoist) and the ruling Nepali Congress party regarding funding it has received from the Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu.

Maoist lawmaker Shakti Basnet had said in parliament on Thursday that the fund received by the 25- year-old regional magazine was used to undermine the peace process in Nepal and demanded an investigation.

“No shred of evidence has been produced in support of these claims and we strongly object to the use of spurious and wild allegations to try and muzzle an independent media organisation and its freedom of expression,” the statement read.

The magazine’s editors said the documents regarding The Southasia Trust’s funding for the magazine that Basnet brandished in parliament was in the public domain.

“Himal Southasian is a media organisation and its work is available in the public domain on our website and in our printed issues. The contents of both speak for themselves and will demonstrate that all our work has been done in the cause of public service journalism and in pursuit of furthering development and cooperation in the Southasian region,” the statement reads.

Earlier, Himal Southasian editor Kanak Mani Dixit posted a response on his Facebook page which said: “I am clear that the UCPN(M) has raised an issue not relevant to my pursuit of justice in the case of Krishna Prasad Adhikari.”

The Maoists have been obstructing CA proceedings protesting the government’s prosecution of those accused in the Krishna Adhikari case.

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu also issued a press statement today refuting such claims of Norwegian funding being misused by The Southasia Trust.

“We want to be clear that we have no reason to believe that the Embassy’s funding to Himal Southasian magazine has been misused. However, any such allegations are serious, and requires necessary action from our side,” said Norway’s Ambassador to Nepal, Kjell Tormod  Pettersen.

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