Page last updated at 04:40 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 05:40 UK

Ousted Nepal prince leaves nation

By Charles Haviland
BBC News, Kathmandu

Paras Shah leaving Nepal
Reports suggest that the former prince was worried about his security

The former Crown Prince of Nepal, Paras Shah, has left the country for the first time in more than two years on a flight to Singapore.

There has been speculation that the controversial former heir to the now abolished throne is moving to the island city permanently.

But this has been denied by one of his close relatives.

Abhinesh Shah told the BBC there was "no way" that Paras was moving out of the country.

Mr Shah, who is married to Paras' first cousin, said Paras was instead looking for a good school for his three young children, whose education was being disrupted by constant strikes and traffic problems in Nepal.

He said Paras and his wife, Himani, would - as guardians - be spending a lot of time in Singapore, but added that once the children got older they might return to good schools in Nepal.

Mr Shah said Singapore's good medical facilities would be useful to the 37-year-old former prince who recently suffered a heart attack.

The pony-tailed former prince was pictured arriving at the airport before flying out to Singapore, reportedly with two bodyguards and his brother-in-law.


The editor of Jana Astha, a weekly paper known for its royal stories, was quoted as saying Paras was concerned for the safety of his wife and three young children and was planning to leave Nepal for good.

But Mr Shah said he did not believe Paras was concerned for his family's security in Nepal.

There have however been press reports that the former princess is worried about that very issue.

As the son of ex-King Gyanendra, Paras was the first in line to the throne and was unpopular among Nepalis for his drunken antics and playboy lifestyle.

One observer here said that in travelling he was enjoying the advantages of being a commoner, which he became in May when a new assembly abolished the monarchy.

Like his father, his movements had been restricted for two years after the failure of a period of direct royal rule.

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