Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"We will wake the king up."

"We are preparing for a decisive movement. This one will be different from previous ones. It will be quite serious, important and perilous. The 1990 movement was against the Panchayat regime, our sole aim was to uproot them and restore democracy. Now our focus is on the king.

He attacked the achievements of the 1990 movement and is attempting to scrap the constitution. We have to work between the king and the Maoists' guns, which is quite a challenge. If we side with the king we will become regressive too. And if we back the Maoists, we will be joining the cruel, autocratic and radical communist stream. We need to tread carefully.

This movement is also aimed at liberation-for the people from dictatorship and regression, and for the king from regression. True, we oppose the king, but we are not against the monarchy as an institution. Many think they are the same. They are not. The king is a person and he cannot be an institution. The sceptre and crown are the symbols of monarchy.

The monarchy will have to be made constitutional, because if that happens, the king cannot make mistakes. The monarchy should be an institution not imbued with power, but with respect. It also needs safety and management. I stress safety because of the royal palace massacre on June 2001. Nobody took responsibility for the mass murder of King Birendra and his family. The chief of army staff even went as far as to say that the king's safety was not the army's responsibility.

The agitating political parties demand that the king should make his property public. What assets were left behind by the late king? How much does the present king own now? These questions are not that difficult to answer. If King Gyanendra is making money through business, he ought to pay taxes.

The 18-point program of the political parties does not aim at replacing the monarchy with a republic, the king has misunderstood us. He is the one propelling the country, deliberately or not, toward a republican state. We only want democracy in which the king will keep his position of a constitutional monarch. Regression will end and the constitution will be activated. After that, the king, parliament and Maoists can all seek a solution to the current crisis. If there is an understanding, the agreement can be ratified by parliament and elections called. It's as simple as that.

To make the king understand our goals, we must make our movement effective. This will wake him up. One thing that the king must understand is if the constitution is scrapped, the issue of a republic will be raised again and again. If the constitution is torn apart by the force of a gun, the country will never have stability. The outcome of the dialogue with the Maoists will have to be passed by parliament. The rebels are not legitimate, and the king cannot make them so.

Thousands of people will take part in the decisive movement with its epicentre in Kathmandu. No one needs to worry about where to stay and what to eat. Revolutionaries don't worry about such petty issues. We will be identified by our revolutionary zeal. Kathmandu streets are wider. There is Tundikhel, and we can even sleep in front of the royal palace. Save your applause, we need it to wake the king up. I will lead you through the streets. For democracy and the people's right, I am ready to be riddled by bullets."

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)