C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 001267
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2016
TAGS: PGOV PTER MASS NP
SUBJECT: POWER PLAY TO WATER DOWN PROCLAMATION FAILS
REF: A. KATHMANDU 1262
¶B. NEW DELHI 3433
Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, Reasons, 1.4 (b/d).
¶1. (C) Just a few hours before the Prime Minister’s planned
May 18 3:00 pm proclamation to limit the King’s power and
place the army under civilian control, rumors swirled around
Kathmandu that the Army and the King were planning a
preemptive coup. The leaders of two of Nepal’s biggest
parties, Nepali Congress-Democratic (NC-D) and CPN-UML, told
us Indian Defense Minister Mukherjee had separately called
them May 17 to ask Parliament to go slowly in changing the
King’s role vis-a-vis the Army. Chief of Army Staff General
Thapa told the Ambassador that on the morning of May 18 he
had met with the Prime Minister and urged caution, saying he
was unsure of his troops’ reaction if the government appeared
to be acting vindictively toward the King. The Prime
Minister had rejected General Thapa’s request to postpone the
proclamation. At the end of the day, the PM withstood the
pressure and power play and issued the proclamation as
drafted – putting the King in a box and the army under the
new civilian government’s control (septel). End Summary. Continue reading American Diplomatic Cable: Fear of Royal Coup when Nepal Was About to Limit King’s Power in 2006
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.
News of the week: King Gyanendra and his son Paras are stopped from evading tax for the first time in history.
By Bishnu Budhathoki
the Kathmandu Post (here is the original story)
Dec 8- Probably for the first time in the history of Nepal since the founding of the Shah dynasty 238 years ago the King and Crown Prince have been made to pay tax. The Customs Office at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on Wednesday (8 Dec) charged Rs 53,739 as duty and tax on 50 pieces of torch light that came recently from the US in the name of King Gyanendra. The office also charged Rs 77,193 in customs duty, demurrage charge, tax and fine earlier when royal palace officials reached TIA to acquire a ‘Hunting Trophy’ that came from Vienna, Austria, for Crown Prince Paras, an official said, preferring anonymity. “We released the torch lights and the Hunting Trophy after slapping Rs 130,702 in customs duty and other charges,” the official said. The 19 kg parcel containing 50 pieces of black rechargeable torch light had arrived at the airport Customs Office from the US in the name of “the King of Nepal” through courier service recently. The Hunting Trophy had arrived on September 10. Continue reading First Time in Nepal: King, Crown Prince Pay Tax
General Strikes continues for the XIIth Day in Nepal
By UWB! Team
1:30 PM, Palace Gate
The gate was abuzz with ex-premiers’ meeting the king. Report has it that Surya Bahadur Thapa was granted audience. Krishna Prasad Bhattarai is also rumored to be consulted. But, the latter could not be verified. Continue reading General Strike Day XII Updates
After watching pro-government leader on Nepal Television, a UWB reader reacts… [Padma Sundar Lawati is a leader of the breakaway faction of RPP that is headed by Home Minister Kamal Thapa. At the time of breakup, it was widely assumed that Lawati would be the chairman of the new party. But in a surprise move, Kamal Thapa emerged out as the leader sidelining Lawati. It was believed that Dr. Tulsi Giri’s hand was behind that surprise- UWB]
By Amod Niroula
The state run Nepal Television has always been or forced to be a monotonous mouthpiece of the ruling few in Kathmandu. This is a response to a television interview given by Mr. Padma Sundar Lawati in the state owned television the other night. The views expressed by him, I thought, were intended to please the ruling the class and had a tone that would make any democratic person go to a spin. On point to point basis, I would like to remind Mr. Lawati why and where he and possibly the government are going wrong in understanding the present political situation.
1. The king is the only unifying factor of Nepali.
Ok! This is what we have been studying since our school days. If, I was still a child innocent of my country’s history, I would believe it. But I am not. Are we Neapli really that weak that if (hypothetically) there were no monarchy, we would be divided? More divided than we are now? Yes, we were unified as one by His Majesty the King (Bada Maharaj) Prithvi Narayan Shah some 200 years ago. But, since then our (or rather the monarchy’s) history has been about nothing more than power struggles and bloodsheds. Do I need to remind you about the most recent one? Continue reading Responding to the Padma Sundar Lawati Interview