Tag Archives: monarchy

Wassup Gyanendra? Latest on Activities of "King"

So what is the king doing at a phase when constitutionally speaking, the monarchy is practically in a state of suspension?

By Tilak Pathak

Fate handed Gyanendra a windfall opportunity of becoming king of Nepal twice: In 1950 and yet again in 2001. The first time, he was enthroned for three months, a child-king without any grasp of royal ways.

Opportunity presented itself once again 51 years later in the wake of the palace massacre.
And yet, he could not hold on to his position. The six years following the palace massacre witnessed such massive upheavals that King Gyanendra’s lust for power ended up paving the way for a republic.

So what is the king doing at a phase when constitutionally speaking, the monarchy is practically in a state of suspension?

Is he waiting quietly for the axe to drop on monarchy?

“When the events in the nation disquiets even the likes of us, how can the king stay quiet?” The king’s ADC Bharat Kesar Singh says. “His highness is also concerned. That’s why he meets people.”

Like Singh says, the king’s major activity at present is meeting people- from pro-monarch leaders to intellectuals, journalists and civilians. But not openly, mostly such meetings are underground affairs. The most recent and significant one being the well publicised meeting with Rastriya Janashakti Party chairman Surya Bahdur Thapa in mid-June.

On his return to Nepal after a weeklong visit to India, Thapa “briefed” the king on what India has to say about the political situation in Nepal.

And it is not just Thapa among the former Prime Ministers. Dr Tulsi Giri, Kirtinidhi ista, Marich Man Singh, Lokendra Bahadur Chand, among others have been paying courtesy calls to the king.

Rabindra Nath Sharma, Bishwa Bandhu Thapa, Pashupati Shamshere Rana, among others, have also held talks with the king. Sources state that especially Giri, Surya Bahdur Thapa and Sharma have met the king on numerous occasions.

Aside from those with palace backgrounds, persons form Madhesi and indigenous communities maintaining a “low profile” at present have also been holding meetings with the king.

Nirnajan Thapa, Krishna Lal Thakali, Roop Jyoti and other royal ministers had also met the king in one group once.

A majority of royal ministers had reached the palace to receive tika during Dashain and on the king’s birthday last year. Continue reading Wassup Gyanendra? Latest on Activities of "King"

History in Making: Parliament Tells Nepal Govt. to Take Action Against King

Nine months after the House of Representatives, restored by April Revolution, passed a Magna Carta like declaration, the Interim Parliament formed as per the interim constitution today unanimously passed a proposal that directs the government of Nepal to take action against king Gyanendra, a former autocrat, for his regressive statement on Democracy Day.

The proposal says, “Expressing serious objection to the message of the king, who has been stripped of all state powers by the Interim Constitution and the May 18, 2006 HoR Proclamation, this sitting [of parliament] rejects the unconstitutional, unauthorized and undemocratic message outright.” Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s party Nepali Congress tabled the proposal and nine other parties supported it. Nepali Congress MP Ram Chandra Poudel tabled the proposal, which was also supported by Bharat Mohan Adhikari of CPN-UML, Dev Gurung of CPN-Maoist, Tek Bahadur Chokhyal of NC-Democratic, Bharat Bimal Yadav of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi), Nanda Kumar Prasain of Bam Morcha and Sunil Prajapati of Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party. Poudel said, “As the king was unwilling as ever to remain within the constitutional boundaries, the parliament should immediately declare a republic.”

Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula spoke in the parliament. He said: The Prime Minister will take necessary action. It has been our commitment to hold free and fair Constituent Assembly elections. The King has initiated effort to pose obstruction in the holding of the elections. The government will move ahead by defeating such efforts.

Now the question is: Will the government take action against the king? If it takes any actions, the question will be: Will the army come in defense to the king? Many believe that the army will have two choices: Either abide by the democratic government or take the side of the falling king. A few second rung leaders of different political parties, a few civil society members and journalists said that the army will not shoulder a king that is destined to be downed.

Monarchy Popularity Sinking in Nepal, But People Want Ceremonial

Peace Process Update Prachanda hints at breakthrough on arms management (follow this post)
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Opinion Poll: 87 percent of Nepalis think that ‘king and monarchy are becoming unpopular in the last few years’. But 54 percent think ‘there should be space to king or monarchy in future.’

By Tilak Pathak

At a time when Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala is advocating for the ‘ceremonial’ monarchy, an opinion poll has concluded that the king and monarchy in Nepal is being unpopular. But a slight majority of people, mostly uneducated, want to continue the monarchy in one form or the other. A survey conducted by a non-governmental organization called ‘Interdisciplinary Analysts’ after the April Revolution concludes, “Monarchy is becoming unpopular in the eyes of people because of the activities of King Gyanendra.” 87 percent of the participants in the poll think that ‘king and monarchy are becoming unpopular in the last few years’. Only 5 percent ‘do not think that monarchy is being unpopular’ where as 7 percent opted to choose ‘don’t know’ option. Region wise, overwhelming majority (91.7 percent) of Central Development Region (where Kathmandu is located) development region feel monarchy is going downward where as 74.8 percent in Far West feel the same.

The poll shows that the palace massacre is the reason for descending popularity of the monarchy (40 per cent think that’s the reason). A statement issued by King Gyanendra immediately after the massacre claiming that the “firing occurred suddenly from an automatic gun” created doubt about him in people. The royal commission formed to inquire about the incident contradicted the king’s claim.

32 pre cent in the poll blame king Gyanendra’s behavior and 17 percent credit royal government’s anti-democratic actions for the declining popularity of the monarchy. 4 percent think that’s because the ‘palace’s conspirative characteristic’ where as 5 percent selected the “I don’t know’ option. The conclusion of the opinion poll signals the uncertain future of monarchy and king in Nepal.

Villagers think palace massacre is the reason for sinking popularity where as city dwellers blame royal regime’s anti-democracy activities for the same. Equal number (32 percent) blame Gyanendra’s habit and activities. Religion wise, 68 percent Kirats, 50 percent Buddhist and 39.2 Hindus believe palace massacre is the reason for sinking popularity where as 16.4 percent Hindus think it’s because of the anti-democratic activities of royal regime that popularity of monarchy is sinking. 33.3 percent Hindus blame king Gyanendra’s habit and activities for the same.

Even as the popularity of the monarchy is sinking daily, the survey says, people want to continue the institution in constitutional or ceremonial form because of the traditional relationship of people and palace. Responding to a question “do you think there should be space to king or monarchy in future?” 54 percent said “yes, there should be” and 39 percent said “no”. “Nepali people are still divided over the issue of monarchy,” said Sudhendra Sharma, Director of the institute that conducted the poll. More people in mountainous and hilly region don’t want monarchy than those in Tarai area.

The more people are educated, the more they are against the monarchy. Only 28.1 percent uneducated said they don’t want monarchy where as 66.7 percent people with masters degree opined against monarchy.

Majority of those in favor of giving space to king and monarchy choose for constitutional (34 percent) or ceremonial (18) form. That means people wanting to give ‘ceremonial in whatever way’ space make 52 percent. Some 28 percent chose “I don’t know” option. 45 percent among those in favor of continuing monarchy wanted to do so because of monarchy being part of tradition where as 17 percent said it’s because ‘the ancestors of the current king unified our country’. 11 percent reason that ‘monarchy is the national symbol of unity.’ The traditional claim of the palace that ‘monarchy is the symbol of national unity’ has been contradicted by the poll result.

38 percent of those who don’t want the continuity of monarchy reason that they think so because monarchy is ‘feudal and barbaric institution’ where as 27 percent feel ‘monarchy doesn’t [help] develop the country.’ And 15 percent think they are against monarchy because ‘it worked against democracy’, 8 percent think monarchy ‘brought about division among people’.

63 percent feel Maoist problem will be solved through talks where as 13 percent don’t think so. 23 percent don’t know about the issue. 59 percent think the ongoing peace talks will solve the problem where as 12 percent said no.

Do you feel popularity of king and monarchy is sinking in the past few years? (All figures in percentage)

Yes- 87
No- 5
Don’t Know- 7
Don’t want to say-1

Where do you feel the obstructing is coming from against solving the current problem?

Don’t know- 50
Current government- 8
Foreigners- 7
King and palace- 10
Maoists-10
Seven Party Alliance-12

Peoples’ understanding of Constituent Assembly

I have heard about it- 59
I have understood- 23
I have correctly understood-18

If you have heard about the constituent assembly, do you think the election of CA is necessary?

Yes- 98
No- 1
Don’t Know- 1

Do you think CA election will be held in free atmosphere? (Asked to those who have heard about CA)

Yes- 54
No- 38
Don’t Know- 7
Don’t want to say-1

Do you think there should be international supervision of the CA election to make it free and fair?

Yes- 76
No- 20
Don’t Know- 4

Do you trust Maoists?

I don’t trust- 17
I don’t trust at all- 17
Dont’ Know- 6
I trust them somewhat- 45
I trust them very much-12

Do you trust political parties?

I don’t trust- 17
I don’t trust at all- 19
Dont’ Know- 7
I trust them somewhat- 45
I trust them very much-11

Do you feel the government is working on to restore peace in the country?

Yes- 66
No- 15
Don’t Know- 18
Don’t want to say-1

Do you feel the Maoist leadership is working on to restore peace in the country?

Yes- 68
No- 11
Don’t Know- 20
Don’t want to say-1

UWB blogger Tilak Pathak is a Nepal Magazine reporter. A longer version of the this story appeared in Nepali in the magazine.

Koirala for Ceremonial Monarchy: People Will Decide

By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala advocates for Ceremonial Monarchy
Sketch by Dewen via the Kathmandu Post (Inside: Ameet Dhakal of the Post: The hometown syndrome)

“Some leaders are suggesting us to eat poison and jump from steep hill. We don’t want to see army giving guard of honor to the king by disrespecting martyrs.”

Krishna Pahadi, human rights activist

A few days ago, while returning home late night from office, one of my colleagues said: “King Gyanendra must be worshipping an idol of Girija Prasad Koirala these days.”

“Why?” someone in the vehicle asked.

“Koirala is the one who miraculously saved king Gyanendra’s job and, mark my words, he will soon start advocating the role of king in future Nepal.” Continue reading Koirala for Ceremonial Monarchy: People Will Decide

India's Media Card

Why Indian media are keeping mum over the biggest events taking place in her northern neighbor? Here’s an answer

Indian media are notorious for thronging into Nepal even to cover and sensationalize trivial events. But, they have ignored the ongoing movement. CNN and BBC‘s coverage is far ahead of our neighboring countries’ media. CNN and BBC have shown unprecedented interest in the latest political upheaval. In one sense, these two world-known media know the news value. Continue reading India's Media Card

Monarchy Debated In Court, First Time in Nepal

By Kiran Chapagain on August 9th, 2005 in Eagle Eye

King’s constitutionality questioned in the court for the first time in Nepal. An analysis

The debate over the constitutionality of King Gyanendra has now reached to the court from the streets of the capital. Now lawyers have begun to question the constitutionality of the king as the chairman of the council of ministers right in the court of law.

The credit goes to Shambhu Thapa, president of Nepal Bar Association, who is nicknamed as a ” Jiundo Manchhe” (living man) for his fight for rule of law and supremacy of the constitution after the February One royal take over.

As he stood up to plead on behalf of the popular student leader Gagan Thapa, who is facing sedition charges for chanting slogans against the monarchy, in front of the bench of the Special Court Monday, he dragged the debate over the constitutionality of the king into the court for debate formally on Monday.

In fact, it is the first time a debate over the constitutionality of the king took place in the court of law. He, along with other lawyers, arugued that the king is assumed the post unrecognized by the constitution. Constitutionally, it is an elected prime minister who heads the government and the king is just a constitutiona one but after the royal take over the king is assuming the power of a prime minister and have thus become active, a direct violation of the constitution.

The lawyers said that an executive king is subject to criticism of any sort and cannot demand immunity of such criticism. Only a consitutional king deserves immunity from criticism of any sorts but when he denies to respect the constitution, he cannot demand such immunity, Thapa argued.

Thapa said the king is unconstitutional since he is assuming the post unreconginzed by the constitution.

“The king who is assuming the post unrecognized by the Constitution, should be ready to face any criticism of the people. It is natural to see slogans, protests against the king who is the head of the Council of Ministers,” Nepal Bar Association Shambhu Thapa argued before the judges hearing the case of Gagan in the Special Court.

“It is the inborn rights of the people to chant slogans against an executive king. Gagan exercised his inborn rights by chanting slogans against an executive king. If he [the king] wants no criticism against him, he should remain constitutional one and demand for respect of his immunity,” he said pleading innocence of Gagan.

Popular student leader Gagan has been in detention since July 26 on charge of sedition for chanting “objectionable slogans against the king” during a demonstration organized by civil society on July 24. The court extended his detention by five days today and ordered the authorities to reach a conclusion within the deadline whether the case would be filed against Gagan or not.

Another advocate Subash Nemwang argued in the same vein. â��His Majesty, according to the Constitution of 1990, an institution, not an executive. “The Constitution allows to chant any slogans against the king who assumes executive power of a prime minister.”

People can smear black on the face of a king who violates the constitution, Nemang said.

As Thapa and Nemwang questioned the constitutionality of the king, the sitting judges were silent and did not dare to intervene with their arguments.

The question of the constitutional status of the king in the court has now opened up another debate over monarchy in the country. Constitutionally, the king is just a constitutional monarch, not the head of council of ministers as he is now. After the February One takeover, he has denied to be constitutional and have assumed the executive post.

Any way, Thapa deserves many thanks from Nepalese people who believe in democracy for daring to question the constitutionality of the king in the court. In fact, all the people of Nepal are thankful to Thapa. We are indebted to Thapa for his courage. Thapa has formally opened up another debate in Nepal.

19 Responses to “Monarchy Debated In Court, First Time in Nepal”

1. Somu Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:07 am

The actions of King Gyanendra mirror the actions of his father. In a near identical royal coup in 1960, King Mahendra shut down democracy in Nepal for 30 years. Since then, Nepal has opened up through trade and tourism. The 30-year dictatorship left Nepal’s 20 million people living in one of the poorest countries in the world.

In the 1960s, it was easy for the world to abandon Nepali democracy. The world needs to send a clear message to King Gyanendra and the Army leaders that this will no longer be the case. The monarchy is the root of all problems of Nepal and the root cause of the Nepali people�s suffering and misery.

So it is time that all Nepalis join hands (forgetting their petty difference), to do away with the rotten, corrupt, immoral, bold thirsty monarchy from the soil of Nepal for good. This is the only way which can bring a bright future for all Nepalis and Nepal with Republican Democracy.
2. Paramendra Bhagat Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:32 am

Gagan Thapa has emerged the face of the movement.
3. Pramod Aryal Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 1:18 am

it is natural course of rule of law, when one tries to act beyond the limits and spirit of constitution he or she will be challenged in the court. the time is running short for present government. it was nice meeting and talking with Shambhu Thapa here. Good luck both Thapas.
4. nationalist Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 1:40 am

Well done Thapas

Nepal AmA needs sons like u who can really think about Nepal and Neplai people. Shambhu Thapa is absolutely right. If King wants no criticism he should be constitutional Monarch. If he is the head of council of ministers then he himself pulled into debate. There is no one in the world who is undebated as head of the council of minister like P.M. So G. Shaha is now a P.M. of nepal.
5. hari Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 12:26 pm

What a lovely t-shirt depicting the real man that is. A punk that has made the democracy movement a rally of thugs, thieves, robbers and looters. A laughable joke. Look at his face. [icd] Rioters are never respected whether they are in power or out of it. They get money from the political masters to run these mock shows so that their masters can go to power.
6. Shyam Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 2:33 pm

Yes andolan without destination may give more pain to general public in future. Who is ready to take that responsibility and who will guarantee after success of this andolan will bring peace and good future in the country?
7. sameer Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 4:08 pm

At last some individuals have the guts to publicly question the legality of the present kingship. Congrats!
8. biswash acharya Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 4:39 pm

Keep it on Gagan ,we r with u.
9. raja Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 8:01 pm

it is pot head, gang in campus, drug addicts [icd] are ruining our society.
10. A Nepali Says:
August 10th, 2005 at 10:45 pm

To har:
Please deeply think about what you are saying. If your eyes don’t open in the 21st century then there would be no chance to your siblings to put a pace further. Long live the mentality of slaves!
11. Impartial Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 1:41 am

Hari and Raja are Bhada ka Tatto,
Well done Thapas, Keep it up the debate, we are with you.
12. nepaliChhoro Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 9:14 am

Thapas have shown a great courage. Salute to them
We need to wake up from a primitive mentality of having a king in a country. The world has changed a lot and the value of king has become obsolete. What for do we need a king like Gyanendra or Paras??? Look at their backgrounds…murderer, raper, drug-addict, mafia…
So Thapas, you guys have initiated the most essential debate and keep in mind we are with you no matter what beliefs we have.
13. Revolution? Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 11:32 am

Let’s be careful with our eulogy for Gagan and his actions…and not jump the gun and start worshiping him like he is a saviour! Although, it certainly looks like Gagane’s time to shine. If nothing else he is on a sure track to become a PM in the future. We all know the best way to build your credentials is to go to jail as many times as possible!…it does not matter how you do it, all that matters is that you go to jail PERIOD!, and if you can do it in the name of the people, that is even better. So Gagane…go for it and “burn” this country to the ground, maobadhi alone is not enough to do that!…ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Then we all will have a genesis…on the blood and tears of millions!

Who are we fighting and what are we fighting for? Whose revolution are we talking about? Maybe the millions that will die in the process will never know!
14. Mr nepal lover Says:
August 11th, 2005 at 2:40 pm

Mr thapa we will help you don warry you nomber one lider i nepal for nepali . I don belive any other leader fo nepal and i hope you will coming
soon nepal pirminister and all the nepali get the democreacy . i hope you will coming soon out of cort then come again aandolan and teach the all the big leader what is the aandolan what is the leader how to coming parjatantra sabaee tapae le sikaunu paryo neta haru laee aani raja laee pani hami sabaee tapaee ko satha ma chhau . tapaae le bhaneko sundaa ta aahile naee desh laee tapaee ko saraee khacho chha. tara ke garane
tapaeelaee naee kin thunchha thyo mon parena .gagan ji tara tapaee le arko autta kam garnu paryo deupa ji laaee chhitto nikalnu paryo la ta gagan ji malaee aasha cha chhittaee yo kam hunchha bhanera .

jaya nepal.
15. Smriti Says:
August 12th, 2005 at 3:45 am

Revolution,

I would think it ought to be painfully apparent who we are fighting for—-the People of Nepal and the country have suffered long and hard under this regime of crooks, thugs and opportunists—the fight that is being waged is NOT for the benefit of any one party or indeed for the various parties as a whole. It is for the sake of going back to the point in time where people in Nepal did not have to fear being woken up at night and draged from their homes. We already have the dubious distinction of having the largest number of “dissappeared’s” in the worls—the blood and sacrifice that you seem so sure will follow will indeed happen—but it will happen becuase the King and his bunch of croonies only know the language of violence. If you are under the mistaken notion that the King cares about the people ( “my people” as he claims)—-wake up!

Granted, the dreams and hopes of the entire country when we had democracy in 1990 were shot to hell thanks to the personal degradation of our so-called leaders—but let’s face it—the current regime is plunging the country into een deeper morass and the sooner the King, his family and his bunch of croonies give in to the inevitable, the beter off we all will be.
16. GANATRANTA Says:
August 12th, 2005 at 1:12 pm

THE KING SHOULD BE CHALLENGED & TULSI GIRI [icd]
17. united for nepal Says:
August 15th, 2005 at 9:37 pm

You have to be a punk your-self to support ‘the man’ in the picture wearing a t-shirt like that…. and he calls himself a ‘leader’.
18. Truth Says:
September 21st, 2005 at 1:47 pm

What about Girija and Sujata about Dhamija case. Just give them the medal for their good deeds. Where was Sambhu Thapa, when Girija was challenging the supreme court?

Sambhu Thapa and the lawyers were quiet because they are the political activist and obey the supremo. But when Tulsi Giri said something about the supreme court he and his gang filed the case.

What jugdment do people will expect from this Bar..
19. Truth Says:
September 21st, 2005 at 1:48 pm

Equal or one sided…