Skip to Content

Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 102

With his grip on the country weakening, Nepal's monarch.....

[b]With his grip on the country weakening, Nepal's monarch taking desperate measures[/b]

A news analysis by Asian Tribune Editorial Board

When King Gyanendra staged an extremely efficient coup d etat on February 1, 2005, Nepal's population, tired of political and security uncertainties, cautiously hoped that the country could had finally found a strong pair of hands that could guide the country out of the mess it is in. Eight months later, King Gyanendra is one of the most unpopular figures in the country, and the institution of monarchy is crumbling down quickly.

King Gyanendra, who enjoyed the reputation of being a shrewd and extremely successful businessman with involvement in Nepal's premier hotel, cigarette, and motor trading businesses, had a golden opportunity to ensure the continuation of the institution of monarchy when he became King at the age of 56, following the bizarre killings of Nepal's Royal family on June 1, 2001.

Unlike many of his predecessors, King Gyanendra was crowned when the whole country was looking for someone to bring things back in order. Nepal's political parties had lost much of the people's faith with their constant internal wrangles and corruption scandals. Nepal's Maoist outfit had also lost its sympathizers with its cadres getting involved in unspeakable brutalities in the rural hinterlands.

King Gyanendra had two clear options.

The first was to stand the test of history by giving Nepal's Maoists what they wanted- constituent assembly elections and the drafting of a new constitution. By doing so, he could have exerted moral pressure on the Maoists to give up arms and join mainstream politics. In all likelihood, this gesture of largesse from the monarch would have earned him a lot of popularity and would have ensured a lengthy life to the institution of monarchy.

Share this