Gyanendra says China card brought his downfall: report

December 3rd, 2008 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Dec 3 (IANS) Almost five months after he surrendered his crown, left his ancestral palace and began to lead a low-profile life, Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra is reported to have said that his China card brought his downfall, indicating that it was a move that angered India.Gyanendra, the last king of Nepal, whose failed coup in 2005 triggered an anti-monarchy wave and led to an election that axed the nation’s 239-year-old monarchy, was Wednesday reported as saying that his proposal at the SAARC regional bloc to include China caused things to go against him.

“Everybody knows that China wanted to sit on the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) as an observer,” the ousted king reportedly told Dev Prakash Tripathy, the editor of Nepali weekly Rastriya Sanjal.

“I tabled that proposal (on Beijing’s behalf) at SAARC and since then, things started going against me.”

Without naming India, Nepal’s other giant neighbour, the last king indicated that the action angered New Delhi, which subsequently began opposing his government and promoted the movement for the abolition of monarchy and establishing a republic in Nepal.

The reported admission comes at a time when China has sent its Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to Nepal to court the new government headed by the former king’s arch enemy, the Maoists, who fought a 10-year war for the fall of the crown.

In March 2005, a month after the king’s ill-advised coup, China was one of the few foreign countries that decided to cultivate good relations with the royal regime.

The then Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing visited Kathmandu and Beijing decided to supply arms to the Nepal army to battle the Maoists.

Nepali weekly Jana Aastha, which reported the conversation between the former king and a Nepali editor Wednesday, also said that Gyanendra drew a parallel between the Maoist insurgency that had racked Nepal during his reign and the terror attacks in Mumbai that left 183 people dead.

“I had said that terrorism had no boundary but nobody listened to me,” said the former king, who had justified his coup on the ground that it was intended to fight Maoist terrorism and restore peace in Nepal.

“That’s what happened in India,” Gyanendra reportedly said.

Now said to be engaged in writing his memoirs, the commoner-king said he surrendered power in April 2006 as the Nepali people did not like his rule. The same people, he added, would also not favour the ruling Maoist party’s attempt to turn the country into a communist republic.

Asked if he would again seek to return to power, the deposed king avoided a direct reply. “Everything depends on what the people want,” he reportedly said.

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