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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Anger in Kathmandu
Nepalese women weep during the funeral procession of King Birendra
Women weep during King Birendra's funeral procession
The Nepalese capital Kathmandu is the scene of huge grief but also anger as the country struggles to come to terms with a tragedy that has left many questions unanswered.

Nepalese are mourning the loss of their beloved King Birendra and most of his family. They are also demanding a clearer explanation of how they came to be shot dead.


We've got a new king, but that's not good enough - we want the truth about who murdered the king and queen

Nepalese in Kathmandu
As King Birendra was laid to rest, bystanders with tear-soaked faces shouted "Come back king, save the country."

"I don't see any hope. The past king was such a great democrat, such a great personality," said popular Nepali novelist Diamon Shumshere Rana.

"When I think of my country, everything is dark before my eyes."

One woman mourner said, "I'm very sad. The king was like our parents, like the Lord Vishnu to us. Everyone is crying."

In the centre of the city on Sunday, long queues of people clutching flowers stood in front of the Naryanhiti palace, where Friday's killings took place.

An impromptu shrine inside the gates was heaped with irises and lilies.

"People are standing around just totally dazed and bewildered," said British Ambassador Ronald Nash.

Anger

On Monday, grief gave way to anger as the Nepalese vented their frustration over the conflicting explanations of the massacre.

Initial reports said the late King Dipendra, who died early on Monday morning, was behind the killings but the royal palace later said there had been an accident - a sudden discharge of an automatic weapon.

The BBC's correspondent in Kathmandu, Daniel Lak, says neither of these versions of events satisfies anyone in the country.

A protester in Kathmandu
Turbulent times: A protester on the streets of Kathmandu
"It's just absurd," one secondary school teacher told AFP news agency. "Are we really meant to believe that a semi-automatic gun accidentally went off repeatedly, spinning around a dinner table until the royal family had been wiped out?"

The new monarch, King Gyanendra, is not a popular figure and, as he was crowned on Monday a belligerent crowd tried to block the route of his motorcade to the old palace.

Some of the protesters burned Indian newspapers for carrying reports holding the country's former crown prince responsible for the massacre.

Others yelled slogans against the new king and his son, Paras Shah, saying they may somehow have been involved.

It seems unlikely that Nepalis will even begin to come to terms with the events of the last few days until they are satisfied that they have the full story.

As one man said, "We've got a new king, but that's not good enough - we want the truth about who murdered the king and queen."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jill McGivering in Kathmandu
"The monarchy used to be a unifying factor, but now it is in crisis and these are certainly anxious times"
The BBC's Matt Frei in Kathmandu
"The new monarch has ordered the army to shoot at will anyone who defy arrest"
Nepali affairs expert Dr Michael Hutt
"We are all holding our breath"

Key stories:

World reaction:

Background:

BBC NEPALI SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT

FORUM
See also:

04 Jun 01 | South Asia
04 Jun 01 | Media reports
03 Jun 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
03 Jun 01 | South Asia
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