Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
‘Parliament must have the power to question and keep a watch on the character of the heir apparent’

.The (royal palace) incident has raised some fundamental questions. It has shown that it is time to analyse all political bodies, all institutions of governance, all national agencies and all other organisations that are in any way related to the fundamental issues of survival of this nation and state. However important a person may be after some time he or she would cease to survive, but a nation is an entity that will continue for ages to come. The life of a nation will not stop. The people have always accepted the fact that the monarchy was the strongest aspect of this country. It was the very essence of the nation. It was what gave this country its character and life. The 1 June incident has raised many questions concerning this. Twelve years ago Nepalis changed absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. .Nepalis proved that they had a lot of respect for the monarchy and so it was never questioned, not even in parliament or in the courts. Such was the peoples' belief in the institution of monarchy and the monarch. All issues concerning the monarch and the institution of the monarchy were left to His Majesty's pleasure. This all proves that the people had a lot of faith in this institution and held it in high esteem. The 1 June incident has raised some fundamental issues and we are now forced to review all this in a new light.

.At such times, it is necessary for all national agencies to keep their cool, not keep anyone, including themselves, guessing, or build castles in the air. Since the NC is the largest party and is in power, it has a larger share of responsibilities and duties. The UML, as the main opposition party, also has its share of responsibilities and likewise all other parties too have to play.

Immediately after the 1 June incident, all Nepalis had hoped that a meeting of all their representatives would be called, meaning parliament would sit down and take stock of the situation. It may not have been required by constitution, but the people of the country had, in their honesty and innocence, hoped for this. By this time it had already been proved that the Privy Council was incompetent. The royal family had been massacred and even after 12 hours, it was unable to give definite answers. . The people wanted an emergency sitting of parliament and they were curious why this esteemed body did not convene .

.The many questions about the monarchy raised by the incident will have to be looked into by parliament. Some of the major concerns are:

1) The laws and regulations concerning accession to the throne.

2) The issue of parliament not empowered to discuss the character of the heir apparent.

.The constitution gives the powers governing all issues concerning the heir apparent to the king. The 1 June incident has forced the citizens of this country to reconsider this. The monarchy is the oldest and strongest institution here. Most people thought it was but natural that the issue of the heir apparent should be left in the hands of the king. The incident has swept the house clean of the old thinking. Our historical institutions face many problems now and thus for the preservation of the institutions, parliament has to take matters under its wing and be directly involved.

Similarly, parliament has to rethink its policy of not questioning, or speaking aloud about the behaviour/ character of the heir apparent. It is a national insult that the abuse of illegal drugs has reached the royal palace and members of the family. A bigger tragedy is that such an abuse has all of a sudden exploded in the face of the people of this nation. To ensure that such an incident does not occur again, the people and parliament must have the power to question and keep a watch on the character of the heir apparent and other members of the royal household. .In many ways our society is still backward. We cannot move forward if we do not study or rectify our weaknesses. We will have to learn from our mistakes and from history.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)