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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 02:58 GMT 03:58 UK
Gyanendra: Safe pair of hands
Prince Gyanendra, seen here with the Duke of Edinburgh
King Gyanendra, seen here with the Duke of Edinburgh, is interested in conservation issues
By South Asia analyst Alastair Lawson

Gyanendra, the younger brother of the late King Birendra is the new King of Nepal.

Dipendra
Dipendra: Died after being in a coma
His style of rule is not expected to differ significantly from that of his brother.

He is regarded as a safe pair of hands, eager to secure the continuity of Nepal's constitutional monarchy.

The major difficulty he is likely to face is getting the public to accept him.

King Birendra was widely revered as a living God by many of his people and it is unclear if the new monarch would acquire the same respect, especially as younger brothers in Nepal are not so revered as their elders.

His skills as a diplomat could also be severely tested.

King Birendra made numerous visits on behalf of his country to India and China and was widely admired for his political achievements, in particular his stewardship of the country during the transition from absolute monarchy to multi-party democracy.

Cloud over son

King Gyanendra is married and has two children. His youngest son, Paras, will now be the new crown prince.

Paras has been at the centre of numerous car accident scandals.

In the latest of these, around a year ago he is alleged to have run over and killed a well known Nepalese musician

Businessman

King Gyanendra is well known in Nepal for his conservation work.

He is a leading figure in the King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation and has worked closely with the World Wildlife Fund.

The king is also interested in developing the kingdom's tourism potential, and owns a hotel in Kathmandu.

He also has other business interests, including a tea estate in the east of Nepal and a cigarette factory.


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