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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 74

King Gyanendra's wait for Godot

[b]King Gyanendra's wait for Godot[/b]

Analysis by Asian Tribune Editorial Board

The last few weeks have been tumultuous for Nepal, despite the fact that Maoists have not mounted any offensives against the Royal Nepalese Army (RNA). In fact, the Maoists have prolonged their unilateral truce and have made an offer to participate in peace process.

While Nepal's hills that have witnessed gruesome battles in the last nine years have remained fairly quiet, Kathmandu and major cities and towns have witnessed some of the most violent demonstrations in Nepal's recent memory.

On December 2, a motorcade ferrying Nepal's crown prince Paras to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport to receive the king and queen, who were arriving after a three-week foreign trip, was attacked by rioters. It was the first attack on a member of Nepal's royal family in a public place after 1990, when late queen Aishwarya was pelted stones at in the Pashupatinath temple area in Kathmandu.

December 2 was a major embarrassment for security agencies in the country. Three senior police officers were suspended. It is common knowledge that they were made scapegoats for poor thinking by the military police, the unit of the RNA that is primarily responsible for arranging security for royal motorcades. This incident once again proved that Nepal's palace can go to any measures to protect its basis of power, the RNA, from public embarrassment or punishment for security failures. In the past, RNA men have escaped punishment for the most gruesome rights violations.

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