King Gyanendra moved from Narayanhity royal palace as Nepal's political leaders prepared to hold the first meeting of constituent assembly that is expected to abolish the monarchy and declare Nepal a republic.
Kathmandu: Nepal's embattled King Gyanendra has moved to a palace on the outskirts of the capital, just days ahead of a Maoist ultimatum to quit the Narayanhity royal palace in central Kathmandu before a key meeting on May 28 is expected to dethrone him.
King Gyanendra moved from Narayanhity royal palace to Nagarjun palace, situated some 7-km west of Kathmandu, as political leaders in the country prepared to hold the first meeting of the constituent assembly that is expected to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy and declare Nepal a republic. Royal palace sources, however, said that the visit of the monarch to Nagarjun was only 'a weekend vacation' though it has received 'unnecessary media attention'.
'The king left the palace on Thursday for Nagarjun on a weekend vacation and it is a normal phenomena,' said a senior palace official. 'The king will return on Sunday or Monday to the palace,' he added.
He said Narayanhity royal palace is not totally vacated as queen mother Ratna Rajya Laxmi, octogenarian mother of king Gyanendra is still in the palace.
'In the past also the king used to visit the hill station from time to time but this time it got unnecessary media attention,' the official stressed.
Maoist chief Prachanda has ordered the King to vacate the palace before the crucial meeting of the assembly as the political parties were determined to pass a motion in the 601-member house to abolish the monarchy and declare Nepal a republic. Nepal Maoists have been demanding the abolition of the monarchy since they ended their decadelong civil war after inking a peace deal in November 2006 with the government that took over from the king.
The Maoist leadership has said they have already started consultations with various political parties and diplomatic missions about a 'graceful exit' for the king to end the centuries-old Shah dynasty.
Prachanda, who is trying to form a coalition government led by the CPN-Maoist, hast said Gyanendra will enjoy all the rights of a citizen if he quits voluntarily. PTI"
(THE TIMES OF INDIA, Ahmedabad, Saturday, May 24, 2008)
Kommentieren & Co.