MARCH 2005
Posted: April 11, 2005

BBC World Service

The government began blocking news transmissions from the BBC World Service on its state-run Radio Nepal FM 103 station in the capital of Kathmandu, despite having signed an agreement to air news programs in their entirety the previous November.

The first 15 minutes of the news broadcast at the top of the hour was replaced with instrumental music featuring songs by the late Queen Aishworya, according to local news sources. Then the station reverted to its regularly scheduled, English-language news broadcast.

Local observers speculated that the programs were blocked to prevent news relating to the state of emergency in Nepal from being aired.

After declaring a state of emergency on February 1, the government barred the almost 50 FM radio stations throughout the country from airing news programs. As a result, many radio journalists lost their jobs, and accurate news from remote areas of the country was difficult to obtain.