The Nepali media has a lot to expect from the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Maoists. The enthusiasm comes not just from the ceasefire but also from Chairman Prachanda's public commitment to respect freedom of the press in policy and in practice. Nepali media has many flaws but despite that, it has continued to work for the last 15 years. It has been the first to protest when democracy and citizen's rights and freedoms are curtailed. It also gave the Maoists a platform to voice their opinions, even if that meant suffering at the hands of the government.
Now the Maoist leadership needs to clarify with what authority their cadres controlled the streets outside the prime minister's residence. What right did they have to check media people and civilians gathered there? Home Minister Krishna Sitaula is unaware of parliamentary culture and of his responsibilities, and does not have an answer. However Sitaula's political patron Girija Prasad Koirala will certainly have to provide one.
The regional Maoist leadership may have apologised, but action against mediapersons and political opponents continues unabated. Activities like attacking members of the trade union GEFONT, and torturing a commoner and accusing him of having murdered his wife while she was actually alive will affect the ongoing peace talks and the peace and security situation afterwards. This is a result of the failure of the ceasefire code of conduct monitoring committee formed jointly by the government and the Maoists.
Will those who have risen by taking the law into their hands be able to live within the law if they come to power through agreements motivated by the political situation? Statements like "We won't let you go even if Prachanda himself is here," have been repeatedly said not just outside Baluwatar but also from leaders of various Maoist fronts and sister organisation