05/26/2008, 00.00
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Demonstrations banned in Kathmandu

Just two days before the first sitting of the Constitutional Assembly, which is set to declare the end of the monarchy, authorities ban public gatherings because of “security concerns”.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Nepalese authorities have decided to ban all demonstrations and public gatherings in sensitive areas of the capital Kathmandu. The ban comes just two days ahead of the first session of the Constitutional Assembly during which the abolition of the monarchy is set to be announced.  Up until now there have been no reports of violent incidents, but the ban is a preventative measure to avoid all possible disorder.  Venues covered by the ban include the palace of King Gyanendra, the hall where the assembly will sit, and the residence of the prime minister.

The expected political change in Nepal is historic.  Yet so far few details of the constitutional changes have been revealed, while the largest party formed by former Maoist rebels continues to use violence and refuses to lay down arms.

After decades of civil war that cost the lives of 13 thousand people, last month Nepal elected the Assembly which now faces the task of rewriting the Constitution and transforming the nation into a Republic.  Despite the fact that the mechanics of how the country will pass to democracy have yet to be established, everyone is expects the announcement to made next Wednesday.  In all probability the Nepalese government fears that the declaration of the republic may be followed by riots and assaults on the Crown Palace.

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Nepal, secular parties against King Gyanendra’s "religious" visit
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