AJA President Stresses Press Freedom in the Digital Age

Ivan Lim Addresses ICT Conference in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU — Asia Journalist Association President Ivan Lim on February 9 said that governments around the world seek to control the information flow on Internet by applying different measures.

While addressing the 13th International CAN Information and Communication technology Conference in Kathmandu, Lim said, “Generally, autocratic governments fear that the netizens can use Internet to mobilize people against them.

Citing examples about efforts made to control the free use of Internet and communication tools in different countries, including China, Pakistan, North Korea and Singapore, Lim said that the Internet played a big role in Arab Uprising of the recent past.

Stressing that no effort should be made to curtail freedom of expression, the AJA President said that Facebook, Twitters and blogs have become extremely popular and useful means for the non-journalists to express their views. While elaborating the advantageous of Internet in democracy, he also did not forget to mention its drawbacks especially, the attack on privacy and posting of sexually suggestive photos.

Lim had also responded queries raised by the participants after his address.

The two-day international conference was organized by Computer Association of Nepal and Internet Society of Nepal with an aim of bringing all stakeholders to single platform to discuss about philosophical as well technical perspective of use of information technology to improve transparency, accountability and effectiveness of public entities and increasing effective participation of people in decision making process.

ICT experts from Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, chief secretary of Nepal, former ministers and journalists expressed their views in the conference.

Earlier on Friday, Lim also observed a mass meeting of the opposition parties in Kathmandu.

The opposition parties had organized the mass meeting as a part of their move to pull down the coalition government led by communist leader Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.

In the evening, he had a meeting with the officials of AJA Nepal at the AJA Nepal office about the ongoing activities and future plan of the organization. The AJA officials threw a dinner party in honour of Lim on February 8.

Lim observed the historical monuments including temples and palaces, in Patan, one of the world heritage sites of Nepal.

Lim was accompanied by AJA Nepal member and Nepal reporter of THEAsiaN Bishnu Gautam during the inspection of the historical site. He returned to Singapore on February 10.

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