Thursday, January 31, 2008

King Gyanendra Speaks up.. after a long time

In what is seen as his first media interview since the April uprising of 2006, King Gyanendra has said that he has remained silent to let the peace process succeed.

In an interview to Hari Lamsal, Editor of Rastra Bani weekly, which was published on Wednesday, King Gyanendra is quoted as saying that he remained silent to make the peace process successful.

Nepali people themselves should speak out on where the nation is heading, on the direction it is taking and on why it is becoming chaotic, the King is reported to have said.

King Gyanendra has also refuted that monarchy has ever sought power.

When asked why he did not speak out till now, the King said, "Silence is also (an) action.” “….There is a meaning in our silence. Those who have understood it (meaning) have understood it well. We think others are pretending not to have understood.”

In the interview, which has been published at a time when the interim parliament has amended the interim constitution declaring Nepal a federal republic, subject to endorsement by Constituent Assembly, the King has said that the monarchy predates the unification of Nepal itself.

He asked, where would we be today had the nation-builder Prithvi Narayan Shah not unified Nepal?

King Gyanendra also said Nepal has such a large heart where every Nepali can find shelter.

He also recalled his February 1, 2005 move – which prompted political parties to unite with the Maoists that ultimately forced the King to step down. He accepted that his move turned out to be a failure.

Stating that the monarchy should never involve in politics, the King pointed out the need to strengthen relations between monarchy and democracy.

Editor Lamsal has said that he took the interview last Friday at the Narayanhiti Royal Palace. Although it was not a formal interview, Lamsal said, he took permission to publish the King's views at the end of his audience.


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