Nepal in Transition: Gyanendra Barks From Palace, Tries to Justify 2005 Coup

Tries to justify Feb 1, 2005 takeover, claims he did that as per “people’s aspiration”

A day after he was stoned by the angry people who also chanted slogan demanding his ouster from Nepal, king Gyanendra has issued a statement on the eve of Monday’s Democracy Day [Feb 19] in which he clearly defends his Feb 1, 2005 takeover. Gyanendra who was forced to give up the power after historic popular uprising in April also claims in the statement [embargoed for publication until Feb 20] that he installed autocracy and dismissed democracy in Feb 1, 2005 “as per peoples’ desire.” The current interim constitution, a document of compromise between the former Maoist rebels and pro democracy alliance of Seven Political Parties to end the decade long violent conflict, doesn’t recognize the king. The king as per the constitution has no role whatsoever in the state of affairs of Nepal. In a way, he is in the state of suspension. This dramatic statement from Gyanendra is bound to create obstacles in holding election of constitution assembly. Why he issued a political statement?

Gyanendra says:

It is clear that the prevailing situation compelled us to take the Feb 1, 2005 (Magh 17, 2061) step in accordance with the people’s aspiration to reactivate the elected bodies by maintaining law and order following the dissolution of the House of Representatives at the recommendation of the elected Prime Minister of the day, who was unable to conduct general election within the timeframe stipulated by the Constitution. Subsequent governments, too, were not successful in this task.

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Why on earth Gyanendra felt to justify his two-year-old actions that people of Nepal rejected and discarded through a historic uprising?

Gyanendra further says:

We are also morally responsible for any success or failure during the 15 month effort. As our sold wish is that the people should govern themselves through their own elected representatives, it is well known that we reinstated the House of Representatives on April 24, 2006 with the confidence that the nation would forge ahead on the path of national unity and prosperity, while ensuring permanent peace and safeguarding multiparty democracy.

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While giving us all the boring lecture on democracy, Gyanendra easily chooses to forget the historic April revolution in which million of people around the country demonstrated against him. It is an open secret that Gyanendra hasn’t yet accepted the restoration of democracy because that he did forcefully.

Here is the full text of Gyanendra Shah’s statement: [???????? ???? ?]

Beloved countrymen

Today, the 57th National Democracy Day, reminds us of the joint struggle launched by the King and the people, culminating in the successful restoration of the peoples’ rights. On this historic day, we pay homage to our august grandfather His late Majesty King Tribhuvan, the architect of democracy in Nepal, and all the brave martyrs who laid down their lives for this cause.

Nepal’s glorious history is guided by the fact that Monarchy has always abided by the aspirations of the Nepalese people, on whom sovereignty is vested. It is clear that the prevailing situation compelled us to take the Feb 1, 2005 step in accordance with the people’s aspiration to reactivate the elected bodies by maintaining law and order following the dissolution of the House of Representatives at the recommendation of the elected Prime Minister of the day, who was unable to conduct general election within the timeframe stipulated by the Constitution. Subsequent governments, too, were not successful in this task. Various obstacles thwarted our resolve to install elected representative bodies. We are also morally responsible for any success or failure during the 15 month effort. As our sold wish is that the people should govern themselves through their own elected representatives, it is well known that we reinstated the House of Representatives on April 24, 2006 with the confidence that the nation would forge ahead on the path of national unity and prosperity, while ensuring permanent peace and safeguarding multiparty democracy.

In order to consolidate multiparty democracy, elected representative bodies must be installed, taking into consideration, in a mature manner, the grievances, aspirations and sentiments of all the Nepalese to the satisfaction of all. Nepal is a kaleidoscope of diverse peoples- be they indigenous, dalits or those living in villages, cities, terai, hills, or the mountainous regions. It will do well to remember that Nepal’s sovereignty and integrity remains safeguarded only because all have accepted and abided by this reality. The Nepalese people alone are the arbitrators of their own destiny and they wish to build a prosperous Nepal through a meaningful exercise in multiparty democracy. The self-respecting Nepalese people have an unshakable belief that one’s unique identity can be upheld only by respecting one’s history.

While upholding the people’s wish as supreme, may this day inspire all to remain dedicated, through multiparty democracy, to the greater welfare of Nepal and her people by ensuring their concurrence and active participation.

May Lord Pashupatinath bless us all!
Jaya Nepal!

Related Blog:

1. Gyanendra Shah Speaks Again: Time To Keep Quiet, Maharaj! [Gyanendra’s Dashain statement in October 2006]

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