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Now Nepal's students want monarchy out of universities

By Sudeshna Sarkar, Indo-Asian News Service

Kathmandu, May 20 (IANS) While Nepal's government offices are frantically wiping out King Gyanendra's name from all signboards, letterheads and media programmes, students have demanded that the monarch be de-linked from educational institutions.

Nepal's student unions affiliated to major political parties, including prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepali Congress, and Maoists are asking the government to scrap the tradition of the king heading universities as their chancellor.

King Gyanendra, by the law of the land, remains the head of two of the oldest educational institutions in the country - the Tribhuvan University, named after his grandfather, and Mahendra Sanskrit University named after his father.

The Maoists' powerful student wing is also urging the government to re-christen all the universities, colleges, schools and other educational institutions named after members of the royal family, both dead and alive.

Toppers at the Tribhuvan University are demanding that the gold medals awarded to students not have the names of royal family members. About two dozen toppers awarded gold medals named after the king's father said they considered it an insult.

There are also demands from members of civil society to change the names of all airports, roads, national parks and other institutions named after rulers of the current Shah dynasty. They include Nepal's only international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

The demands have gathered momentum after Nepal's parliament Thursday took the historic decision of stripping King Gyanendra's powers, bringing him under its control and revoking his immunity from paying taxes and legal proceedings. The house also unanimously agreed to stop the tradition of biological succession to the throne, giving itself the authority to appoint the king's heir.

Breaking away with a 237-year-old tradition, the house also asked the government to change its name to Nepal Government from His Majesty's Government, the Royal Nepalese Army's name to Nepali Army and change all government signboards, letterheads and seals accordingly.

Though Friday was declared a national holiday in honour of people's victory over an authoritarian monarchy, government employees however were kept busy repainting signboards. On Thursday, parliament also approved the proposal to transform Nepal into a secular country.

After losing its unique position as the only Hindu kingdom in the world, the country is now also striving to axe monarchy. After anti-king protests erupted nationwide and compelled King Gyanendra to step down, the new government that came to power has pledged to hold an election to write a new constitution for Nepal.

According to people's verdict during the poll, Nepal would retain monarchy or turn into a republic.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

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Reply with quote  #2 

The Kingdom of Nepal seems determined on oblivion. There doesn't seem to be much anyone can do to stop it.



"The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other." ~ Walter Bagehot

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Reply with quote  #3 

The suicide of Nepal is agonizing to watch, but whats even worse is seeing the US, UK, India and the rest of the so called international community cheering it on. It's quite heartbreaking.


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Reply with quote  #4 

In fairness to our own governments, King Guyanendra didn't exactly make it easy for foreign governments to support him. I think His Majesty made a great many grievous errors of judgement.



"The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other." ~ Walter Bagehot

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Reply with quote  #5 
Originally Posted by BlueEmperor

In fairness to our own governments, King Guyanendra didn't exactly make it easy for foreign governments to support him. I think His Majesty made a great many grievous errors of judgement.




BlueEmperor,King Gyanendra had to take over,as the politicians were squabbling among themselves.Besides,if the King had not taken over,then Nepal would have ended up as a Maoist banana republic by now,considering that the Maoists are pretty barbaric anyway! There is no way that the international community will ever accept a Khmer Rouge-type situation in the Himalayas,as the Maoists are also a real threat to India.


If Nepal ever became a banana republic,it would also end up like Zimbabwe - a real basketcase!



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Reply with quote  #6 

I think the man tried his best and failed miserably. The people may try to do all they want to end the monarchy. But the problem there is the RNA always tends to favor the monarchy. If the army decides to march on democracy, it could get bad.



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Reply with quote  #7 

The problem I see is that there will be a vacuum of power left when he dies and that will be filled by the communists.

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Vive le Roi Vive Louis

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Reply with quote  #8 

Its heartbreaking to watch those students defiling their kingdom with disgusting socialist antics. What is their problem, in my opinion his majesty king Gyanendra has done nothing wrong. If he falls the country will become maoist and yet another of our beloved monarchies will have fallen to our the communist enemy!

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Reply with quote  #9 

To be fair to the students, the King has made huge mistakes. And remember that the Civil War is still ongoing.


The Nepalese government has decided that the Maoists are no longer Rebels so I believe there cause will lose much steam. The Bolsheviks always had to use ballot box stuffing in order to win an election, so against all these other forms of Socialism,besides the fact that the country must have some Conservatives will probably drain the Communist cause dry.


One good thing has come from this civil war: Princess Purnika will be the nations first ruling monarch!


They changed the succesion laws so that the first child of the Emperor comes to the throne, so as the Crown Princes's adorable 6 year girl will be ruling Queen!

If all the world is a stage,can I be Carmen?

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Reply with quote  #10 

well nepal doesnt have an emperor but a king. i am very sad that everything looks so bad in nepal. now they have even suspended the king and changed the name to state of nepal instead of kingdom of nepal. how disgusting. does anybody here know of any hope for the monarchy in nepal?


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Reply with quote  #11 

WHY do they want to do away with monarchy, what's their excuse?

Do I seem weird? This article should explain some of my views:

Communism and Capitalism are evil!!!

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Reply with quote  #12 
Short Answer:
He tried to rule as an absolute Monarch, and failed.

Long Answer:

After a long and rich history, during which the region splintered and coalesced under a variety of absolute rulers, Nepal became a constitutional monarchy in 1990. However, the monarchy retained many important and ill-defined powers. This arrangement was marked by increasing instability, both in the parliament and, since 1996, in large swathes of the country that have been fought over by Maoist insurgents. The Maoists, alienated from mainstream political parties, went underground and started a guerrilla war against both monarchy and mainstream political parties. They have sought to overthrow feudal institutions, including the monarchy, and establish a Maoist state. This led to the Nepalese Civil War in which more than 13,000 people have died. On the pretext of quashing the insurgents, the king closed down the parliament and sacked the elected prime minister in 2002 and started ruling through prime ministers appointed by him. He then unilaterally declared a state of emergency early in 2005, and assumed all executive powers.

On 1 February 2005 the royal takeover was further advanced as the King appointed a government led by himself and at the same time enforced martial law. The King argued that civil politicians were unfit to handle the Maoist insurgency. Telephone lines were cut and several high-profile political leaders were detained. Other opposition leaders fled to India and regrouped there. A broad alliance against the royal takeover called the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) was organized, encompassing about 90% of the seats in the old, dissolved parliament.

On 9 April, SPA announced that it intended to continue its protests indefinitely and called for a tax boycott. The government announced plans to step up its enforcement of the curfew and claimed that the Maoists had infiltrated the protests. Prachanda, the leader of the CPN(M), had said that "this is no longer a protest by opposition parties ... it has become a people's movement," and warned that he himself could lead a revolt in the capital.

King Gyanendra announced that he would return political power to the people and called for elections to be held as soon as possible. He called on SPA to nominate a new Prime Minister of Nepal in a speech on a state-owned television station, saying, "We return the executive power of the country to the people. We request the seven-party alliance to recommend a name for the post of prime minister who will have the responsibility to run the government."

In a nationally televised address, King Gyanendra reinstated the old Nepal House of Representatives on 24 April 2006.The King called upon the Seven Party Alliance to bear the responsibility of taking the nation on the path to national unity and prosperity, while ensuring permanent peace and safeguarding multiparty democracy.

The reinstitution of Parliament was accepted by the SPA. It declared that Girija Prasad Koirala would lead the new government. The SPA stated that the new parliament will hold elections for a body that would write a new constitution.

The move was rejected by the Maoists. Baburam Bhattarai stated that merely restoring the parliament was not going to resolve the problems and that the rebels planned to continue fighting against government forces.  They still demand the formation of a Constituent Assembly and abolition of the monarchy.

On 27 April 2006, however, the Maoist insurgents responded to demands by Girija Prasad Koirala and announced a unilateral three-month truce in the Nepal Civil War. In addition to this, on 1 May, Bhattarai announced that if "the elections [to a Constituent Assembly] are free and fair, one has to respect the result of the elections. Then of course we will abide by the verdict of the people." This was seen as a large step forward as it shows the first signs of Maoist acceptance of the democratic process.

On 2 May, Koirala announced the new government cabinet including himself and three other ministers from the Nepali Congress: K.P. Sharma Oli from CPN(UML), Gopal Man Shrestha from Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Prabhu Narayan Chaudhari from the United Left Front. This was followed on 12 May by the arrest of four ministers from the ousted royalist government and an investigation into alleged human rights violations by the army during the General Strike.

The most dramatic move of the post Loktantra Andolan government came on 18 May 2006 when the Parliament unanimously voted to strip the King of many of his powers. The bill included:

  • Putting 90,000 troops in the hands of the parliament
  • Placing a tax on the royal family and its assets
  • Ending the Raj Parishad, a royal advisory council
  • Eliminating royal references from army and government titles
  • Declaring Nepal a secular country, not a Hindu Kingdom

The act overrides the 1990 Constitution, written up following the Jana Andolan and has been described as a Nepalese Magna Carta. According to Prime Minister Koirala, "This proclamation represents the feelings of all the people."

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Reply with quote  #13 
18 Feb 2007 11:03:43 GMT
Source: Reuters
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        Nepal peace
                        KATHMANDU, Feb 18 (Reuters) - The first phase of disarming Nepal's Maoists and registering combatants housed in camps in the Himalayan nation is over, the United Nations said on Sunday, a key step in a peace deal that ended a deadly civil war. "We are just finalising a report that will go to the government and Maoists in a day or so," Kieran Dwyer, a spokesman for the United Nations in Nepal, told Reuters. The report will give details of the number of Maoist combatants as well as the number and types of weapons they produced for registration, Dwyer said, without further details. In the past, Maoists have said they have 35,000 fighters but have not provided details of their arms. Last month, U.S. Ambassador James Moriarty said the former rebels were buying inferior arms in neighbouring India to store in U.N. containers and were retaining their modern weapons, a claim the Maoists and the government reject. The Maoists and multi-party government mandated the UN to monitor Maoist fighters and their arms as part of the November peace deal that put an end to the anti-monarchy Maoist revolt that started in 1996 and claimed more than 13,000 lives. Maoist arms have been catalogued, bar-coded by registration teams and stored on racks inside metal containers. Maoists will keep the keys but U.N. teams will provide a 24-hour watch. The landmark peace deal has seen the Maoists take 83 seats in the 329-member provisional parliament and they are also set to join an interim administration. Dwyer said the second stage of arms monitoring, which includes verification of information about the age and number of years combatants had served in the Maoist force, would start soon. Human rights group accuse the Maoists of recruiting children in their ranks, which the former rebels deny. In the final phase of disarmament, the Nepal Army will also store an equal number of arms ahead of this year's elections for a constituent assembly that will draw up a new constitution and decide the fate of the monarchy -- which the Maoists want abolished.

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Reply with quote  #14 

Committee formed to protest action of eight political parties

A National Protest Committee has been formed to protest the working procedure of the ruling seven party alliance and the Maoists.

Issuing a press statement signed by Ram Chandra Sharma Dulal, the committee, which kept the names of the central working committee secret, said that the committee comprises members of civil society and various professional groups.

The committee also said that it is organising peaceful protest programmes in favour of constitutional monarchy and multi party democracy to keep the national integrity and sovereignty intact.

The committee has demanded scientific border management, seeds and fertilisers provided to farmers in subsidised rates, land to landless tenants and Kamaiyas and reconstruction of all infrastructure destroyed by the Maoists.

The committee has also demanded 50 percent reservation to women and proportional representation of all marginalised groups in all mechanisms of the state, stern action against corrupt people and nationalisation of their properties, among others.

Stating that the interim constitution formed with the agreement between the ruling seven party alliance and the Maoists is undemocratic, the committee alleged that the eight political parties are institutionalising violence in the name of peace.
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