At the royal palace reception for Princess Himani's birthday a small group of diplomats held a serious discussion with King Gyanendra. Despite complaints that often only the American, British, Chinese and Indian ambassadors are privy to such talks, this time the ambassadors from Bangladesh, Australia, Russia, France and others discussed the Maoists and the 1 September riots with the king.
"In France, there is no dearth of ideologists propagating leftist and republican views," the French ambassador told King Gyanendra, adding that although these groups supported Peru's Shining Path and similar revolutions, there is no French support for the Maoists. The king smiled, but turned serious when the Australian ambassador mentioned 1 september and said the mosque attacks were an act of communalism and religious intolerance. The king corrected the envoy, saying, "Religious tolerance has always been a part of our culture and history." After a while, the French ambassador raised the issue of the Maoist demand for direct royal talks. The king said, "I have given full consent to the steps taken by the government on this matter."
The diplomats evidently left the party feeling positive about the king's views, but may have been seriously concerned later in the evening hearing news of the terrible violence where Prince Paras was present. They have related the incident to the monarchy's future, probably wondering what kind of company the future king keeps. This provokes other questions: should the monarchy be above and detached from public concern? If so, then does this not signify the beginning of a republic? The royal palace secretariat favours keeping the king and his subjects apart. The king must overrule this and win the people's trust otherwise the monarchy will be even more unpopular.