Suman Giri interviews ex-king Gyanendra (l). Pic via hamroblog. Nagarik newspaper has Nepali version of the interview. Also, read Republica’s coverage of the interview.
Talking to Suman Giri of Avenues TV, a Kathmandu-based private network, for the first time since is ouster three years ago, in Janakpur where he went to worship Janaki, ex-king Gyanendra has strongly hinted that the monarchy could be revived in the federal democratic republic of Nepal. Here’s transcript of the interview:
Welcome. How do you feel about the turning point through which the country and people are passing through?
Whatever the people have aspired for is our desire. That is my desire too. Today the common man is feeling insecure, I feel. That is why I pray for peace in the country. I wish Nepali brothers and sisters and people get what they expect. There should be a space for all as soon as possible. The garland on with our forefathers had bonded this country together should not be torn apart.
In what situation the country is now?
I think it is better for you to ask the public and seek their response than me telling that.
Are you active in reviving monarchy? Continue reading
Excerpted from Koirala’s address to a mass gathering organised by the Nepali Congress branch of Saptari on Dec. 27, 2002, collected in the book Simple Convictions
I am telling you something about the incumbent King [Gyanendra]. I am also sharing with you the nature of the four kings that I have experienced. I have been struggling with four generations of kings and have witnessed the vicissitudes over four generations. How does the person who has accumulated the experience of four generations perceive the King following the royal move on Oct. 4?
With the royal proclamation, the incumbent has robbed the people’s fundamental rights achieved through the historic Popular Movement of 1990. He has proclaimed to have acquired sovereignty and state authority, claiming he possesses divine power. He says he is the source of authority. We have called this King’s move regressive and we are agitating against it. From this mass gathering in Rajbiraj, I would like to tell the King – if you don’t correct the royal proclamation and immediately return the people’s rights to people; the result will be very grave, Your Majesty.
My experience with the attitudes of each king – the late kings Tribhuvan, Mahendra, Birendra and incumbent His Majesty – is different. Continue reading
Earlier this week they organized a protest program that partially shut down Kathmandu (see at the end of the post about that). They were demanding a referendum on the monarchy and Hinduism in Nepal. They are using religion as a tool to further their political interest and it seems ultra rightist groups in India are quietly supporting them. The fact is duly elected constituent assembly (and parliament) did away with monarchy by declaring Nepal a republic and the parliament restored after the April 2006 people’s movement declared Nepal secular a month after. Royalists, wiped out in the election, are slowly raising their voices. A monarchist and ultra rightist party called Rastriya Prajantra Party Nepal (RPPN) is spearheading the movement. But that’s the beauty of democracy that they are able to speak their mind and stage protest. They denied us the same rights that democracy is providing them now. UWB publishes a statement issued by several fringe pro-monarchy groups supporting the aforementioned cause in its full length:
Joint Press Release in Support of a Referendum on the Monarchy and Hinduism/Restoration of the Constitution of 1990
The Global Hindus and Nepali nationalists endorse the demand of referendum raised by RPP-N to decide on Federalism and Secularism. Acting in concert with other patriotic and nationalistic institutions, we are committed to the causes of Dharma, Nationalism and service to the Nepali people. In that context, we are closely monitoring the rapidly unfolding events in Nepal along with the changing political awareness of the Nepali people themselves. Presently, the conduct of national affairs has been hijacked by a cabal of corrupt political leaders and parties who purport to act in the name of the people’s freedom, democracy, republicanism, and secularism. Continue reading
UWB doesn’t agree with some of the ideas put forward by the writer of this comment, Dirgha Raj Prasai, which originally appeared here as a response to a UWB commentator. But we like to hear all kinds of opinions.
Dear Basti jee !
Why would there be a need of a King if Nepal can survive without it? But Nepal should not be compared to other nations. Monarch is Nepal’s alternate power. Nepal does not demand an autocratic royal institution but a pro-people institution. The institution of monarchy is such a force that fights off imperialist force to create a greater Nepal. The King of Nepal never sold the nation, pleaded before foreigners nor killed the people and will never do so. I wouldn’t have said so if I was a citizen of Japan or any other nation, I would have said that the nation will survive without the monarchy, but I am in Nepal. The geographical and class reality of Nepal is such, that the absence of monarchy would mean there will be no Nepal. Continue reading
Paras at Airport in Kathmandu. Pic by Narendra Shrestha via Kantipur
Former crown prince Paras flew to Singapore yesterday amid speculation that he plans to quit the country following abolition of the monarchy ,or arrange schooling abroad for his three kids- Hridayendra, Purnika and Kritika. He reached Tribhuvan International Airport flanked by personal security officials (PSO) and close relatives. Airport security officials said that he boarded a direct Silk Air flight to Singapore at around 1 pm. Paras’s late uncle Dhirendra’s son-in-law and close aide of the former monarch, Dr Rajiv Shahi, who survived in the 2001 royal massacre, saw Paras off at the airport. Paras was accompanied to Singapore by his brother-in-law Raj Bahadur Singh and Adarsh Bikram Rana. Continue reading
Nepal’s deposed king has left the royal palace for the last time but has no plans to leave the Himalayan country. Former King Gyanendra says he wants to stay to “help establish peace” as the country moves from a monarchy to a republic. Hundreds of people came to see Gyanendra leave Katmandu’s royal palace Wednesday night. His departure marks the end of the final chapter of the world’s last Hindu monarchy. The Press statement from former His Majesty Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shahdev, King of Nepal is below.[This statement was read by Shah in his press conference today in Narayanhitti palace]
[1. Here is the original press statement in Nepali
2. And here is the live reporting from inside the Kanski hall of Narayanhitti palace where former king read out the statement and the scenes at the gate of the palace]
Dear Nepalese brothers and sisters,
This country which came into being 240 years back as a garden of four castes and thirty-six sub castes as imagined and established by our ancestor His Majesty, the Great King Prithivi Narayan Shah, is going through a period of very serious and sensitive upheaval. It is well known that the Nepalese Monarchy which has always been activised for the people’s prosperity and progress has always been working together and cooperating with the happiness and woes of Nepalese people. Burning examples of that are unification, preservation of nationalism, democratization, and modernization through the united efforts of the king and national integrity as equivalent to the value of our lives. Our committed energized feelings towards these values and standards have remained constant from the past and are equally strong in the present and will remain so in the future. Continue reading
Remembering the massacre: 19 Jestha 2058 BS [1 June 2001] was when the monarchy was abolished in Nepal. 15 Jestha 2065 only formalized that.by Dinesh Wagle
Once upon a time when there was still monarchy in Nepal, some seven years ago to be exact, a horrifying incident happened in Narayanhitti palace in Kathmandu that shocked the world. The day, 1 June 2001, was when entire family of the then king Birendra was murdered by god knows whom. We were told that it was Birendra’s son, crown prince Dipendra, who pulled the trigger and killed his parents, sister and others before killing himself but the people are not wiling to buy that argument. Thousands of people, mourning the death and angered by the massacre, came to the streets chanting pro-monarchy slogans. Thousands of males spontaneously shaved their heads, a Hindu way of mourning the death of one’s near ones. Today, exactly seven years after, it seems almost surreal to even think that I was one of those mourners who shaved their heads.
That very day monarchy had died (or been abolished) in Nepal. The abolition was only formalized on 28th May 2008. Continue reading
The symbols are powerful. People understand that. That’s why thousands of enthusiastic people today demonstrated throughout the day, a day after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a republic, demanding that the national flag of Nepal be hoisted at the Narayanhitti palace occupied by former king Gyanendra Shah. Earlier in the morning, at about 8:30 AM, the royal flag, the insignia of the Shah dynasty that ruled Nepal for the past 240 years, was removed apparently by the staffs of the palace. Finally, after hours of protests and attempts by the people to hoist the flag by themselves, the national flag was hoisted in the evening, at about 19:42 PM. Continue reading
Update: (21:19 hours) The first meeting of the CA has begun.
Soi Dhole Soi, Ganatantra Khoi?
Thousands of jubilant people have hit the streets chanting slogans that hail Nepal as a republic country as the Constituent Assembly is about to declare Nepal a republic. People who have gathered in New Baneswor where the first meeting of the CA will convene in the International Convention Center, are flying colorful balloons, singing songs with almost every line including the word “ganatantra”, painting “Ga” [for ganatantra= republic] signs on their cheeks, “Ganatantra” on their foreheads. Hundreds are now gathering (as of now, 12:48 PM) in Tinkune where they are whistling, chanting slogans and screaming Ganatantra Jindabad [Long Love the Republic], Rajtantra Murdabad [Down With Monarchy], Gyane Chor Desh Chod [Thief Gyanendra, Leave The Country], Soi Dhole Soi, Ganatantra Khoi? [in tune with a traditional Kirat festival song]. Gyanendra, the last king of Nepal, will be given a 15-day deadline by the government to vacate the royal Narayanhitti palace after the CA formalizes the pre-CA election decision of the Interim Parliament to declare Nepal a republic. The meeting of the CA hasn’t started as yet. Political leaders are busy finalizing the technicalities of the declaration, amendments of the Interim constitution that is needed along with the declaration and provision, rights and privileges of the President and the Vice President of the republic of Nepal. Continue reading
King Gyanendra’s Secretariat at the royal palace today issued a statement that said:
“The attention of the Secretariat has been drawn to the malicious reports appearing in sections of the national and international media in recent days against the royal palace. This Secretariat strongly refutes these reports as totally fabricated and unfounded.”
The background: Some Nepali and Indian media are reporting that king Gyanendra is considering going into exile in India. There are some discussions going on about that in some media. The Indian foreign minister yesterday said that no requests to the Indian government were made from the king about possible exile. Maoist leaders have given a four-week ultimatum to the king to move out of the Narayanhitti palace. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly is expected to take place within a month.
Our view: There is no question that king Gyanendra can stay in the Narayanhitti palace after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly executes the provision of the interim constitution making Nepal a republican state. Gyanendra should go back to his private Nirmal Niwas in Maharajgunj that is reportedly undergoing renovation. If he wants to stay in Nepal, he shouldn’t be denied of that right because after the abolition of monarchy in Nepal, king Gyanendra will be just Gyanendra, a citizen of Nepal whose rights, just like our, will be defended by the interim constitution.