04/06/2009, 00.00
NEPAL
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Ex Nepali king trying to restore monarchy

by Kalpit Parajuli
Former king’s heir, Crown Prince Paras Bikram Shah, makes the claim. Deposed in 2008 Gyanendra is said to have discussed such a goal in a recent trip to India. Prince makes new revelations about 2001 royal family massacre.
Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – A plan exists to restore the monarchy in Nepal, or at least give the royal family some power, said former Crown Prince Paras, currently in exile in Singapore. His revelations come a few days after his father, Gyanendra Bikram Shah (pictured), the last king of Nepal, came home after a trip to India.

In an interview with Singapore tabloid The New Paper, the 37-year former prince said that his father is actively seeking to restore the monarchy through his grandson Hridyandra, Prince Paras’ own son.

The “baby king” as Paras calls the young boy was at the centre of talks the former king had in India with leaders of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an unidentified multi-millionaire woman from Singapore, his former personal adviser Sagar Timilsina and former royal priest, Pashupati Bhakta Mahrjan.

Until the abolition of the monarchy Nepal was the only Hindu kingdom in the world.

After more than a decade of civil war, the monarchy was officially abolished in 2008. A new constitution is currently being drafted with input from the entire population in accordance to the wishes of the ruling Maoist-led government.

In his interview Prince Paras does much more than talk about his father’s plans. He also reveals tome more facts about the 1 june 2001 massacre in Narayanhiti Royal Palace when nine members of the royal family, including King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya, were killed.

Paras confirmed that his cousin, Crown Prince Dipendra, was responsible for the slaughter, dismissing rumours that had his father conspiring to seize the throne.

According to Paras, Crown Prince Dipendra carried out the killings for three reasons.

First, his father was opposed to his marriage 2ith Devyani Rana, a woman from a rival prominent family.

Secondly, economic interests were involved. “The Nepal Army was looking for a new weapon to replace the Belgian SLR” but “Dipendra like the German Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifle, as opposed to the battle-tested Colt M16” favoured by the king. Millions were involved in lucrative contracts.

Finally, Crown Prince Dipendra had never accepted his father’s 1990 decision to abolish Nepal’s absolute monarchy and turn the country into a constitutional monarchy with free elections.

Paras’ revelations have caused a stir in Nepal. But canvassing opinion among various Nepali political parties AsiaNews found that no one believes that the restoration of the monarchy is possible.

For Prakash Man Singh, historic leader of the Nepali Congress, the “monarchy is finished. The people will never accept its return in any form.”

Jhala Nath Khanal, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), said that “restoring the monarch is impossible, whatever some might try to do.”

In his response to Prince Paras’ conspiracy allegations, Nepali government spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara said that the “government will take all necessary steps if Gyanendra takes any initiative against the will of the people.”

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