Rise and fall of Nepal’s royals (To go with Nepal king exits from royal palace)

May 23rd, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 23 (IANS) Nepal’s besieged King Gyanendra Thursday night left the Narayanhity royal palace from where his ancestors had ruled for generations, signalling the end of the monarchy. The following are the major milestones in the history of the nearly 250-year-old Shah dynasty whose kings were once revered as incarnations of a Hindu god: 1769: Prithvi Narayan Shah, king of Gorkha, overruns other principalities and founds the Shah dynasty.

1950: King Tribhuvan, present king Gyanendra’s grandfather, fears for his safety and flees to India after his feud with the all-powerful prime minister Mohan Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana escalates. An uprising forces Rana to surrender power and Tribhuvan returns in triumph.

1955: Tribhuvan’s son Mahendra becomes king and begins grabbing power.

1959: Mahendra holds first general election.

1960: King sacks first elected government of B.P. Koirala, bans political parties and begins absolute rule with the army’s support.

1990: Second pro-democracy movement forces Mahendra’s son, king Birendra, to clip his own powers and become a figurehead king.

1994: Prachanda founds the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

1996: The Maoists start the People’s War to end monarchy.

2001: Massacre in the royal palace, reportedly by Crown Prince Dipendra, kills the king, queen and seven more royals. Gyanendra becomes king.

2005: King Gyanendra seizes absolute power with army support and declares war on Maoists.

April 2006: King forced to step down after Maoists and major parties lead a national uprising. Maoists sign a peace pact.

2007: Maoists join government.

December 2007: Parliament proclaims Nepal a republic.

April 10, 2008: Nepal holds a historic election in which Maoists emerge as largest party.

May 22: King Gyanendra leaves the palace.

May 28: Newly elected constituent assembly to officially proclaim Nepal a republic.

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