Nepali Times
Girija Prasad Koirala

Girija Prasad Koirala, freedom fighter, four-time prime minister and the architect of Nepal's peace process, has died at age 86.

His political career began in 1948 with the formation of Nepal Trade Union Congress.

After King Mahendra's 1960 coup, Koirala was involved in the NC's brief tryst with armed struggle against the absolute monarchy.

His organisational skills served him well as he flitted back and forth across the Nepal-India border to procure weapons.

Koirala was appointed as Prime Minister by King Birendra after Nepali Congress won the majority in Nepal's first multi-party democratic elections.

He was also considered a manipulative leader who sidelined all rivals within his party and, paradoxically, was blamed for the erosion of the gains of the 1990 Jana Andolan. Here he is seen with Nepali Congress leaders Ganesh Man Singh and Krishna Prasad Bhattarai after he dissolved the house and declared mid-term elections in 1994.

The NC was in power for ten of the twelve years between 1990 and 2002 and Koirala was prime minister for many of those years. Yet his leadership was marred by corruption scandals involving the leasing of jets by the national airline and allegations of nepotism.

Perhaps Koirala's two most notable actions were to stand up to King Gyanendra after his creeping coup in 2002. While the UML and even the Deuba faction of the NC joined the royal government after 2002, Koirala was against compromising with the king.

He was initially in favour of retaining a constitutional monarchy, and was the strongest proponent of the 'baby king' proposal to put Gyanendra's grandson Hridayendra on the throne. But by the end 2007, even this position became untenable.

The 12-point agreement with the Maoists was a path-breaking deal that paved the way for the April 2006 uprising and the brought the rebels out into the streets in peaceful protests.

After the peace process and the Maoist electoral victory of 2008, Koirala was assured by Dahal that he would be the first president of the new republic. Instead, Koirala's own colleague from the NC, Ram Baran Yadav, became president.

Never one to give up, he tried till the very end to ensure a political comeback either for himself or for his daughter, even if it meant aligning with his former arch enemies, the Maoists.

He died at the home of his daughter and deputy prime minister, Sujata Koirala. He had been suffering from severe respiratory disease for the past few years, but his condition suddenly deteriorated last Sunday.

1. Anuj
May Lord give Nepalese people and Koirala family for strength at this hour.

2. prashant sharma
i donot feel anything

3. Vinay Joshi

now no leader remains in the nation who has leadership like girija pd koirala had.

4. Nirmal
When 2046 movement took place I had just stepped into my adolescency, people told us that the movements were taking place because panches were bad people: used to arrest people and kill or disappear them without any further whereabouts, corruptions and personalism were rampant etc. And we were the second poorest country of the world thanks to their loot. I knew nothing more than this about politics, perhaps it was because of my age of innocence I prefered the NC because its flag was quite different than of communists(hammer and sickle were something archaic and medieval for me because it was supposed that we were about to enter into 21st century and changing those tools with new ones would respect the time). The word Prajatantra became very popular. Little by little I became conscious of what a government and parliament meant. During my college life again I chose NC-s sister organization because their manifesto was not exagerately larger like of akhil brothers. The wickedness of parliamentary politics started to spill everywhere. Corruption, murders, disappearances, nepotism etc were alike daily news. Lastly, the word loktantra was introduced with much more enthusiasm but evilness continue to reign. I do not know If it is the problem of vocabulary or the real problem is of definition, I see no difference between then and now. This is what actually happens with GPK, GPK is puchhi, puchhi is what euphemistically called, a man of action( I know that it is the time to express positive comments like habitual when a person is no more, but I am sorry that is not my style to contribute my unfairly praise all of a sudden). The reality of Girijababu's era is and will be presented before our eyes in multiple ways, thorny, in stratums tightly overlapped, polemic: more like a living memory rather than history. What counts today is still the possibilty of thinking about that reality, incidents and occurences as the negative basis in today's Nepal discovering new dimensions of a past too close(this does not mean downplaying his role to bring a violent political group to mainstream politics, this is the unique thing I personally admire of him). His era is not finished yet, the outcome is today's society and his legacy is current politics.

5. DON
Not a good thing 2 say this but one rotten egg is gone from Nepal.
Pls, pls Nepali Congress stop fighting within for power but never for CORRUPTION, PEOPLES AND COUNTRY HEALTH AND DEVELOPTMENT.

6. suraj
me too....i don't think it's a great lost....

7. Sudan gautam
yeah it might be a sad news but personally i am just taking it as the
process of life. I don't see any reason so far to lament over it or make it a talk for the entire day. Now what i believe is country will surely see the better or the worst scenario.It was because of GPK that lots of things were just entangled. Surely great leaders will come out of all the adverse situation. Moreover what i would like to add is giving a public holiday for his death or on demise of any other leaders should be abolished. The people who are disturbed will surely manage but what about the country's economy? Lets move on and do our best for whatever we can do and hope the new leaders will create an environment for all of us who wants political stability. Rest we shall do for the country's development just you create us the environment. Lastly, may his soul rest in peace....

8. Uttam

Nepal will live by his memories and my condolences to family and all bereaved in this hour of grief. I am surprised though on timing, is God in need of advice from him to design peace and prosperity provisions for upcoming Constitution of Nepal. Why did not the God let him bring or see new Constitution out? I am sad !!!

9. shaket
May his soul rest in peace....
As many paper stated that there's is vacuum in Nepalese politics since he is no more. i don't believe that as this has given chances to youth to come out with their vision for Nepal. I believe that leaders are not born but made due to circumstances. Hope, we can have someone who could carry the responsibilities of Nepalese.

10. Dharane
Girija Prasad Koirala, freedom fighter, FIVE-time prime minister and the architect of Nepal's peace process, has died at age 86.

what's happening?

11. Shasankh
Condolences to the family, but for me it was like a death of a vulture. My nation suffered a lot coz of some ignorant and selfish people and he was one of them. I am still awaiting for the same to happen to rest of them. Then and then only, my nation will have a small but bright future.
Ppl, plz dont make such a big fuss about it as if he saved our nation. Look where our leaders have made our nation.

12. Tara P.d Ojha
He was real hero of Nepal so i think all neplese became orphan bcoz of expire of Nations Hero...

13. Tara P.d Ojha
Heartfelt condolence to the dashing leader of Nc Girija pd koirala on his sorrowful demise. May his departed soul rest in peace in heaven. ...

14. They Cynic
@ Tara P. d Ojha,

Sir please speak for yourself not for all Nepalese, many of us think we are not orphaned but rather celebrate the arrival of Spring. 

And another thing, death of father makes people orphan, death of 'hero' merely ends the drama. Sir you are pushing to too hard. Whether people miss him or not depends on the quality of drama, which I believe did not have any.

15. Pratakchya
its an end of an era, a political heavy weight. I know he was equally a man of controversies but he was the only one determined leader who did not ever compromise for the country and democracy. He is the only one who could fight with autocratic King Gyanendra. He is the one, because of whom, people are enjoying the freedom and peace after the 10 year long, vulnerable armed insurgency. We never felt this, because we were enjoying the sip of tea in kathmandu while watching news on televisions. But think about the relief the people who were directly affected by the insurgency have felt. I know, as a father, he also promoted nepotism in party, but for his 60 years of his devotion to party, to nation and peace process, we should farewell such meaningless issues.

Long Live Girija Babu!!

16. Danny Birch
How is it that he is suddenly a great hero by virtue of dying? A few weeks ago he was a corrupt politician. Too bad HM Birendra didn't keep him and all of the other so-called netas in jail or in exile where HM Mahendra had so rightly put them. 

How can you so casually refer to HM Mahendra's formation of the panchayat system and his rescue of the country from political party thugs as a "coup?" The royal family protected Nepal from partisan politics as long as possible. Only the gullibility of the people in believing that the parties would bring about positive change forced HM Birendra into ceding absolute power as per popular demand. Many now wish he had not done so. 

Girijababu and all the other party leaders deserve no praise, dead or alive.

17. Jay

Compare these two facts:

200+ years under the Monarchy = Discriminated and Mostly Poor People

20 Years = Reduced Discrmination and Mostly Poor People

Who would you pick? Most of the politicians are not true leaders but I'd take people rule over monarchy any day...

18. Janak
Thank you Nepali Times for giving an honest assesment of Girija's life and not censoring comments unlike other media outlets.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)