APRIL 18, 2005
Posted: April 19, 2005

Surya Thapa, Budhabar


Government officials summoned Budhabar weekly editor Surya Thapa to question him about a cartoon and article published in his magazine. Officials at the District Administration Office in Kathmandu asked Thapa to clarify the intent of a cartoon published on March 30, which compared then-recent developments of the constitution in Bhutan to the state of the monarchy in Nepal. Officials also stated that an article published on March 30 violated a ban on criticism of King Gyanendra’s royal February 1 proclamation, in which he dismissed the government and declared a state of emergency. The article in question, titled “Your Majesty where is democracy?” and written by former Prime Minister and member of Parliament Bai Bahadur Rai, questioned the constitutionality of the king’s move.

Officials on April 18 asked Thapa to explain why legal action should not be taken against him. Thapa was summoned to the Chief District Office three times since February 1 to submit to questioning about critical reporting in the weekly.