Nepal king victim of foreign powers: royalist party chief

May 26th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 26 (IANS) Nepal’s last king Gyanendra, who will have to surrender his crown, sceptre, throne and palace Wednesday, is the victim of foreign powers and has been betrayed by political parties, says the chief of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, the lone voice championing monarchy in Nepal. Kamal Thapa, whose Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal suffered a smarting defeat in last month’s election for supporting monarchy, seemed to hint southern neighbour India was behind the king’s downfall.

“Monarchy is soon to be a victim of conspiracy of foreign powers,” the man who was the hawkish home minister of the king in the last turbulent days of the king’s absolute regime, told a local daily.

Since the end of King Gyanendra’s 14-month authoritarian government in April 2006, royalists have been blaming India for the humiliating ouster.

New Delhi brought Nepal’s opposition parties and the Maoists, then a banned ‘terrorist” organisation, together in India, helping them to start a united opposition to the royal regime that finally caused Gyanendra to surrender power.

“The parties themselves have not said clearly what the crime of the monarch is,” Thapa told the Kathmandu Post daily in support of the king who hastened the demolition of his crown by grabbing absolute power with the help of the army in 2005.

“Monarchy might have taken some controversial decisions in the past, but those decisions cannot alone be the reasons for ending an institution that holds a long history. It has made several important contributions too - be it the unification of the country (in the 18th century) or establishing democracy in 1950…

“The parties are ignorant of such contributions while taking political decisions about the institution.”

Thapa alleged that when the king stepped down two years ago, he had an understanding with the political parties who later went back on their pledge.

“We know that there was some sort of understanding between the agitating political parties and the palace,” the former minister said. “The statement read out by the king (announcing his stepping down) was virtually drafted by the leaders of the political parties. The king simply read that out.”

After the formal end of monarchy Wednesday, Thapa said that though he didn’t foresee the king seeking a confrontation with the parties, there would be a terrible void.

“The void will have an immediate impact on the security forces of Nepal,” Thapa warned. “Then on the social, cultural and religious fabrics of society, then on administration and foreign policy. The impact will be so big that I don’t think the current political leadership will be able to manage it.

“In that situation, one of two things will happen: either a complete takeover by the Maoists or another round of confrontation (with the army stepping in).”

The die-hard royalist is reiterating his earlier plea to give the embattled king some more time.

“The king cannot expect the monarchy of the past,” Thapa said. “The right and authority to govern rests on the representatives of the people…

“I suggest first let us complete the drafting of the constitution (a task that would take at least two years)… If the representatives deem it necessary, the decision about monarchy can be taken during that process.”

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