Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Packing up?



News is, the king is thinking about packing his bags and leaving the country. A source says the king is busy meeting with his relatives, usually at Nirmal Niwas or the Nagarjuna palace. He meets political or semi-political people in the afternoons, and goes out at night to meet family members. So far he has visited Surya Bahadur Thapa, Rajendra Devkota, Pashupati Shamsher Rana, and Biswo Bandhu Thapa.

At these meetings, he says repeatedly that he is tired and wants to take a break. Sources say that in the last few weeks the king has been talking about acceding the throne to Prince Hridayendra and going abroad with the queen to spend some time alone. Talking about his 1 February 2005 takeover, he says, "I took the step thinking it would be good for the country. It did not turn out that way, but I have no regrets."

He is said to be consulting his advisors about giving the young prince all power, saying that the monarchy is much more important and powerful than a king.

Apparently the king has even tried to share his ideas with Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. In a statement two weeks ago in Chitwan, Dahal said, "The king invited me to talk and said he is willing to let go of his powers under certain conditions, but I refused to meet him." The king has also reportedly tried to meet Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, who has also refused. The palace is now expressing interest in meeting with NC-D leader Gopalman Shrestha.

This is not the first time that the king has suggested making over all his powers to Hridayendra. He has not said anything about what will happen to Prince Paras. Apparently, the king's visitors are strictly advised not to mention the 1 February takeover or say that the monarchy is in trouble as such statements may \'irritate' the king. Some say the king's decision to give up his powers is just another way for royalists to divert attention from real issues. Others say that the king is angling for sympathy from the Nepali people.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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