Deposed king’s son to leave Nepal?

June 30th, 2008 - 12:52 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, June 30 (IANS) Bitter at the way fate, his country and his father treated him, former crown prince Paras is planning to leave Nepal, a report said Monday. The heir of dethroned king Gyanendra, who is furious with his father for having gambled away his inheritance, is leaving for Singapore Tuesday, Nepali tabloid Naya Patrika reported.

However, there was no immediate official confirmation. Earlier this month, the tabloid had created a sensation by reporting that Gyanendra had fled from the Narayanhity royal palace under the stealth of night but the report proved to be wrong.

The daily said the former heir to Nepal’s throne, whose hope of becoming the king of Nepal was dashed after his father’s bid to seize absolute power with the help of the army boomeranged, has booked a seat on Silk Air.

However, his wife, the former crown princess Himani, and their three young children were not accompanying him immediately, the report said.

But plans had been made for them to join him within a fortnight, it added.

The three children - two daughters and a son - had stopped going to school since Nepal officially became a republic.

The former crown prince, known for his quick temper and arrogance, had been suffering heartburns after Nepal’s newly elected lawmakers last month formally abolished the crown and stripped all members of the royal family of all their titles.

After the historic proclamation May 28, that turned Nepal, once the world’s only Hindu kingdom, into a secular republic, Paras was reported to have complained to his cronies that he could have saved the situation.

Another tabloid, the Jana Aastha weekly, an avid royal watcher, had reported that the former crown prince had asked his embattled father to abdicate in his favour, just as the former king of Bhutan, Jigme Wangchuk had done. He had claimed that he would be able to overturn the tide of public sentiment against monarchy once he ascended the throne.

To his chagrin, his father rejected the proposal, the weekly said.

The headstrong prince’s anger increased after the government stripped him of his security contingent of army soldiers, replacing them with over a dozen police and armed police personnel.

The Naya Patrika daily commented, tongue in cheek, that Singapore would not be the right destination for Paras.

Once known to take drugs, he would find the stringent laws of the new country a deterrent, it said.

Also, since a large number of Nepalis live and work in Singapore, he could find anti-monarchy sentiments pursuing him there too, it added.

The report is certain to trigger a rush of journalists to the airport Tuesday in the hope of catching a glimpse of the flying former prince.

If true, this would be the former crown prince’s first jaunt abroad after the fall of his father’s regime two years ago.

During King Gyanendra’s absolute rule, Paras triggered another controversy when he went to Austria and France as his father’s envoy under the guise of handing over a pair of rhinos from a national park to a Viennese zoo.

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