Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
Madhav Nepal’s flip-flop

You attended the meeting of the Privy Council. How did this [massacre] happen?
No one has officially said how. This is the jurisdiction of the investigating committee. The answer will probably come after the investigation. The interest of the people is in having a probe.

The palace and government have not said anything and people are speculating. The media is airing these speculations. Haven't you pressured the government to make information public?
I asked what exactly happened. The prime minister has been asked to present the facts and make a statement. He also said an official inquiry was required and that this was a very difficult matter. It is the responsibility of the country to properly investigate this.

Do you think this was a conspiracy?
We have taken this as something very uncommon, unnatural.
Everyone says this was unnatural, but in what sense?
No one can imagine such an incident, it is so unnatural. How do we analyse this, what will happen now, what were the reasons behind this. We have to find clear-cut answers.

Budhabar Saptahik, 6 June
"In the context of the committee formed by His Majesty to investigate the incident in the royal palace the night of 1 June, our party appeals to everyone that the committee should be formed in accordance with the constitution and pertinent laws of this nation. The committee must work within the laws of this land and provide guidelines and direction. We further humbly state that our party does not agree to the process by which this committee has been constituted."

Jana Aastha National Weekly, 6 June
Nepalis believed all facts relating to the incident would be made public very soon. The treacherous UML has now put a damper on those hopes. [Madhav] Nepal, who agreed when asked by the palace chief secretary Pasupati Bhakta Maharjan to be a member of the investigating committee, has now withdrawn from it. Nepal had earlier repeatedly asked on his and his party's behalf that an investigation be carried out. The committee was formed under the chairmanship of the chief justice, and the opposition leader and speaker of the Lower House were members. Grief-stricken Nepalis hoped for quick answers. Now they are frustrated by Nepal's behaviour. The UML has created more problems for itself and the people. Will the UML have any moral right to comment on the findings of the committee? If it is not satisfied, will it have the right to ask for another probe? People now wonder who really runs the party. It will be difficult to believe in Madhav Nepal in the future. If a top party leader can change colours in 24 hours, whom should the people believe?

BBC Radio, 6 June
Madhav Nepal: Look, whatever confusion there is [about his withdrawal from the probe team] that is not confusion, but there are some legal issues that need to be taken into account. On the committee's formation, King Gynendra had held discussions with all sides unofficially, yes. So there is no need to suspect the intentions. But we want to stress that it is also necessary to take into account the legality and processes. Only I do not want to stay on the committee, not my party. Whatever suspicions there are within and outside the country can only be eliminated based on the facts that come out of the investigation. Our party will play a positive, supportive role in quieting down such suspicions.

BBC: Why didn't you stay in, personally?
MN: The process is unclear. It is very good the chief justice is on the committee, as well as the speaker of the house. I am a party leader. There could be repercussions if only one party leader was on the team.

BBC: What repercussions?
MN: It isn't that we as a party are not ready to support or remain in the committee, but at the individual level, the person might have problems, or be busy, there might be other circumstances.

BBC: But this is a time of national crisis. How can you think of your personal problems?
MN: We are ready to help in all ways. It is not that I am not on the committee because the king formed it on his own. But it is necessary to think about [the committee] in terms of the constitution and laws.

BBC: When you say the matter needs to be thought about in a legally correct manner, are you trying to say that the wording and the process was wrong?
MN: Legal experts have different opinions. There has to be discussion, debate on legal and constitutional matters and processes, although the announcement Monday was made under special circumstances. We also need to understand that.
BBC: Given that the country itself is in a special situation, isn't what you are saying double-edged and couldn't it create more problems?
MN: No. The prime minister and concerned people will search for solutions.
BBC: But wasn't this committee discussed even before it was formed?
MN: Yes, I have already said there were discussions. But there is a necessity to fix certain matters in writing.

BBC: So if these matters are put in order, will you stay?
MN: Yes. It is possible someone from our party will participate.
(Interviewed by Rabindra Mishra)

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)