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Unionists agree to stop interference with newspapers' publication as agreement signed

(FNJ/IFEX) - An agreement was reached between Kantipur Publications and workers affiliated to All Nepal Communication, Printing, and Publications Workers' Union (ANCPPWU) on 4 October 2007 at the offices of the newspaper "Kantipur" in Tinkune, Kathamandu.

According to the joint press statement issued by managing director Kailash Siroiya of Kantipur Publications and President Shalikram Jamarkattel of ANCPPWU, a four-point agreement was signed in the presence of Chairman Prachanda and Senior Leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai of CPN-Maoist.

The charges against some of the agitating workers have been withdrawn and steps are being taken to free the pro-Maoist workers arrested by police for disrupting publications. Nine suspended workers have been allowed to return to work. The parties have also agreed to meet on 8 October to resolve ongoing tensions.

The trade union has agreed to halt all disruptive activities aimed at preventing the publication of "Kantipur" and "The Kathmandu Post" dailies.

The director of Publications, Binod Raj Gyawali, Narayan Wagle, the editor of "Kantipur", Prateek Pradhan, the editor of "The Kathmandu Post", Sudhir Sharma, the editor of "Nepal Saptahik", and news editor of "The Kathmandu post", Ameet Dhakal, were also present at the meeting.

The union launched its protest programme on 26 September by stopping the collection and publication of advertisements in "Kantipur" and "The Kathmandu Post". The newspapers were published without advertisements on 27 September and their publication was stopped altogether on 28 September. The newsapers were issued on 29 and 30 September but again disrupted on 1 and 2 October. "Kantipur" was published on 3 October while "The Kathmandu Post" was not. Both publications resumed on 4 October.

FNJ welcomes the agreement, is very pleased by the positive understanding between the two disputing parties and believes both will resolve their issues through dialogue. FNJ is offering to serve as a mediator when needed.

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