Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Bad intentions


The king's Democracy Day address has created waves-the eight parties consider it unreasonable and there are protests on the streets. The king is not satisfied with the recent political developments and used the address to convey that to the people. The interim constitution has given all his powers to the council of ministers and also removed him as the head of state.

The speech is against the constitution, spirit, and sentiments of Jana Andolan II. The address mocked the developments since last April and tried to defend his 1 February 2005 takeover, saying that it was what the Nepali people wanted at that time.

After 11 years of war, Nepalis finally feel like they are making their own constitution and have a say about their country's future. The future of the monarchy is to be decided through the constituent assembly elections. It is clear that the Nepali people's decision will not be in favour of the king. The address is proof that the king is looking for a way to safeguard his future. The Home Ministry knows all about the king's recent meetings with former panchas. The king's palace and his extravagant lifestyle are paid for by the Nepali people and yet the king is conspiring against those very people. Why is the government keeping quiet?

There are a handful of people in the Nepali media and some more in the Nepali Congress who want to jump onto the monarchy bandwagon. These NC leaders are trying to convince their party's leader about the Maoists' so-called extremism and push them to be faithful to the palace. The prime minister needs to let Nepali people know that the government did not approve the address [in advance]. The government also needs to realise that because it has not been able to take action against those charged by the Rayamajhi Commission, the king and the royalists are getting emboldened.

In the streets, in parliament, and in party meetings, people are saying that action must be taken against the king immediately. Parliament has declared the address unconstitutional, illegitimate, and authoritarian, and also said it is an attempt to hinder the peace process. This is a bold declaration. While the Maoists say that Nepal needs to be declared a democratic republic, leaders like Nilambar Acharya suggest that the king be removed from Naryanhiti palace, that his title be taken away, and that restrictions be put on him so he does not go about making unapproved public speeches. The interim constitution has a provision, which states the future of the monarchy will be decided by the first meeting of the contituent assembly. Since the ultimate future of the king lies with the people, the government must think of an alternative way to take action against him in the interim.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)