Social media posts claiming international news media praised CPN-UML general convention are baseless

Injina Panthi / December 1, 2021

This post by Dormani Paudel, the immediate past chief minister of Bagmati Province has gone viral on social media. Photo: Paudel’s Facebook page

This Sunday, as the 10th general convention of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) continued in Chitwan, some social media posts were circulating with claims that the convention’s grandeur drew a lot of attention from the international media. Posts claiming to be short segments of news reports by the BBC, Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Aaj Tak and Xinhua among others are circulating especially on Facebook and Twitter.

Dormani Paudel, the immediate past chief minister of Bagmati Province, also shared such a post on Facebook. The post in Nepali language makes the following six claims:

1.       On the basis of the area occupied, an estimated over 1 million people were present at the UML general convention –BBC

2.       After Karl Marx, the UML is going to decide what kind of communism the world will follow. – Al Jazeera

3.       Preliminary estimates show the craze seen in Nepal for communist party and KP Oli is of international standard. – Aaj Tak

4.       Regarding the CPN-UML general convention, Xi Jingping has made a statement saying communists have a strong presence in South Asia and the Chinese Communist Party has highly praised the convention. –Xinhua

5.       The situation in Nepal is such that soon the communists will form a majority government and KP Oli will continue to lead the government. – Reuters

6.       History will remember in golden letters the UML function as synonym of general convention. – The New York Times

Paudel’s post has received over 1000 reactions including 64 shares.

A similar post has been shared by former social welfare minister of Bagmati Province Saraswati Basnet on her Facebook page. Another similar post has been shared on Twitter by a user @khadga_acharya.

A Facebook post by former social welfare minister of Bagmati Province Saraswati Basnet. Photo: Screenshot from Basnet’s Facebook page

Fact Check

South Asia Check fact-checked the claims and found that the said news media have not made the aforementioned statements regarding the CPN-UML general convention. Our search on Google and the websites of the news agencies concerned did not turn up any news reports containing such statements.

To factcheck the claims, we conducted search on the websites of each of the news agencies mentioned in the viral posts.

Regarding the alleged BBC news segment, we conducted keyword search on BBC website and BBC’s Nepali-language website for the terms such as “CPN-UML”, “General Convention”, “Nepal” and “KP Sharma Oli”, but could not find anything to confirm the news segment.

Similarly, on the Al Jazeera website we could not find any report on the CPN-UML general convention. Search using keywords such as “Nepal”, “CPN-UML”, “General Convention”, “Communist Party of Nepal” and “KP Sharma Oli” did not show anything to substantiate the alleged news segment.

Similar keyword searches on Indian television Aaj Tak’s website, Chinese news agency website, Reuters news agency website, and The New York Times website did not turn any results to support the claims made in the viral social media posts. Based on the aforementioned searches, we have concluded that the claims made in the viral post are baseless.

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