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Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
What next for Nepal?
Gyanendra, the younger brother of the late King Birendra is the new King of Nepal.
The country's third monarch in four days, he was crowned after King Birendra and most of the royal family were killed in a palace massacre on Friday.
In his first address as monarch, King Gyanendra promised to investigate the circumstances of the killings.
He is regarded as a safe pair of hands, eager to secure the continuity of Nepal's constitutional monarchy.
But will the country accept him? Can he defuse the anger and grief among Nepalis who revered the slain king as a living God? What should he do to steer his country through its crisis?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Yuko Maskay, USA
This is obviously a very difficult time for Nepal. Over recent years there has clearly been unrest within various minority groups. This is not now a time for the country to divide, but for it to pull together and grow stronger. Thinking of you.....
The tragedy and its aftermath throw many a challenge to Nepal's institutions, but the wisdom and inner resources of this ancient civilisation would guide them through this difficult period. Monarchy, to survive, must adapt to the modern conditions.
Nepal, to flourish, must shed the feudal order and become an industrial democracy. An enlightened monarch could a play pivotal role in this transformation. Japan's success is an example.
It is a sad thing to have happened. May all departed souls rest in peace. There is no point in fuelling anger and violence over the incident anymore. We should all be patient with the probe committee that has been established. It's high time we all Nepalis get our acts together and get on with our lives. We need to have the courage to face this misfortune that has come upon us and keep on striving for a better Nepal. Admit these problems. That's the way His Majesty King Birendra would have wanted us to be and it's the only way we Nepalis can pay tribute to our beloved king. Your majesties, you will always be in our hearts.
Dr.Denis Shrestha, Nepal
I am looking at all circumstances of Nepal these days very closely. The crisis of Nepal is very big but it can't be an obstacle to continuous development of the nation and to the trust of Monarchy. Although it must be said that even one Nepali can't believe that Crown Prince Dipendra did the murder. There may be a long channel of murderers who wishes to capture the Nation for their interest. The behaviour of Royal Nepal Army, Government of Nepal is too doubtful these days. Nepali people can't trust the report of recently formed investigation commission. As we have came to know that the report is already made without having any inquiry with the concerned parties.
We want to draw the international communities' attention to investigate the Royal family's massacre, because Nepali people can never trust the Government and witnesses from the Royal family now.
I don't believe in the people of Kathmandu because I was there when they were shouting very bad slogans against King Birendra and now he is God to them. There are always destabilising elements in that place. Please Nepalese be careful. The country is more important than whom we like or don't.
It is very shocking news. Now when I think about it, I wish it is Dependra who did it in his moment of madness rather than a conspiracy. It is important that we do not allow anybody to take advantage of the crisis and drive us to another instability. Yes, we don't like Gyanendra as the king nor Paras as the crown prince, but do we see anybody else who can lead the country? Imagine Girija being the president?- or any other political leaders or parties. And can Nepal survive another civil war?
Late Dipendra can't be a murderer of his family. Who is responsible for this Palace massacre must be pulled up and informed to the Nepalese People.
Prabha Pradhan, USA
The killing of Abraham Lincoln, Kennedy, Martin Luther King and many more are still mysteries. Americans learned lessons from these events and used the experience for strengthening their countries. How the leaders and citizens of Nepal will learn lessons from this is the matter of most importance. Let's see how the things will develop.
It is constitutional compulsion to make Gyanendra the new king otherwise not a single Nepali is accepting him from the heart. He has not a good image. King Birendra was worshiped as a God and crown prince Dipendra was very much popular among youngsters and he was very much down to earth. But now it is very hard for new king to establish his new image.
Ram Bahadur Humagain, Nepal
Whatever happened to Nepal and Nepalese, was very unfortunate. However, it is now time for all Nepalese to be united and stay calm to prevent further mishaps. The very first step is to properly investigate the issue and punish the sinners. I don't think it is impossible to find out the truth if it is desired by the government and royals. As the crime occurred inside the palace and we still have several witnesses alive, the truth is never unreachable. All that is required is the proper step by the government.
Again, it is very unfortunate that we have such a corrupt and immature government led by PM Koirala.It seems to me that Koirala did nothing to find out the truth. In such an unfortunate time as it is today, if our politicians try to benefit themselves or just pretend nice, by not telling the truth or align with any opportunist foreign power, that would be the irreparable disaster for this poor nation. We have to remember that the very first thing is the country itself, then comes its people and the monarch. Jai Nepal!
As the local ruling elites cannot be trusted for the investigation of the current tragedy it is probably necessary that some international observer and investigators be included in that commission.
It has been a great shock to us all but we do hope that our present King HM Gyanendra proves to be no less like the late King to our dear country. After the grief-stricken sorrow that has befallen us, we certainly look forward to a better future, after days of mourning and never-ending pain. May their souls rest in peace. Prayers and Best Wishes for a promising and secure tomorrow,
It is very strange that such massacre happened inside the palace boundary. I was proud of so peace-loving and religious royal family. Now question ahead is to maintain kingdom, Hindu identity and peace-loving people. There should be new constitution balancing power among king, political party and people to throw out corrupt politicians from their constituencies.
I think that there is no conspiracy by His Majesty King Gyanendra. But there is an uncertainty due to the characterlessness of Prince Paras Bikram Shah. There are a lot of rumours flooding the Nepalese society badly. So all the Nepalese should use their brains this time. This is no time for violence. If there was a conspiracy too, Nepalese people can do nothing. I'll give an example, if we assume that King Dipendra was the murderer, then also Nepalese could do nothing because he was already the king, and there is no rule against the royal families. And in the similar way there is no rule for Prince Paras even if he is guilty. And that's the fact. So I would like all my Nepalese brothers and sisters to calm down and try to find the truth logically.
In the aftermath of all the incidents and the rest to come, we general Nepalese are still in darkness. The unfortunate incident that took place on Friday night has to be clearly brought in front of general public for gaining confidence and restoration of normalcy. It's high time for the Government also to come forward with clear explanation for people to believe them. No one is going to believe that the incident is carried out by the late King Dipendra.The Royal Palace should also come with valid explanation of the incident and restore the normalcy which has hit hard in the life of general public.
Prativa Subedi, Nepal
I was deeply shocked to hear about the massacre and I had utter disbelief when I heard that the gun went off on its own. Everybody here thought that it was a stupid effort to cover up. But when King Gyanendra said that there were legal and constitutional difficulties, I can now understand. If Dipendra was declared the killer then he would have to be probably hanged according to the laws of the land. That I suppose one couldn't do while he was himself injured by his own shot. Let the inquiry commission confirm the truth and why not find out why Dipendra lost his cool and how much tension was that beautiful woman creating in the mind of the young Prince?
If a monarchy poses legal and constitutional obstacles to the truth, it may be time to do away with it.
A coup d'etat may ensue if the political leaders and new King are unable to stabilise the situation. I do not think they may be able to ensure stability, since the situation has already been unstable since 1993, at least.
However, I hope I am mistaken.
I believe that in this unstable time for Nepal, the Nepali people should ride out the storm and keep calm for a few weeks. Then, when feelings are more controlled, perhaps it is time to end this line of the monarchy, as predicted and replace it, not with a Rana or Shah but with emblems that represent Nepal and/ or peace.
I think the present system of the monarchy should be abolished and a full parliamentary system installed. And as far as the assassination goes, I don't believe that the Prince could have done it, even given the unusual circumstances. There is the hand of some unknown identity in this bizarre act, and if the newspaper reports are to be believed it has to be Crown Prince Paras who is involved.
As rule-abiding Nepalese, we must accept the constitution in its totality. The constitution has accepted prince Gyanendra as the King of Nepal and so must we. Now the King must first gain the respect of all the Nepalese by doing the right thing at all times. His first speech to the Nepalese and first step of forming a committee with the right persons is very appropriate and acceptable to all the Nepalese. I am sure that his other many steps and actions that need to be taken will all be directed in the interest of Nepal and Nepalese.
As a very impartial and justice loving king, he must take proper actions to the murderer of the royal family or the musician who was killed few months back. This, then will establish King Gyanendra as a true loving king of the Nepalese. May his reign be successful in true sense.
S Shakya, Nepali studying in US
I think the killing that took place Friday was not done by the late King Dipendra. I can say that someone else is involved in the killing, but I don't know who. I pray to god that the true killer should be caught.
As a Nepalese in USA, I am passionate about the plight of my nation. I am deeply saddened by the news of the royal massacre. The new King must rise above the fear and give hope to the nation. Yes, there are many conspiracies, which is natural when something so tragic happens, however, what is most important is that the nation is not split apart and the citizens are not lied to. The citizens adored the royal family, despite the fact that they themselves lived in poverty. Nepalese people are strong and they will survive. I have no doubt, however, the moment is now or never. The truth must be told to ensure a peaceful closure.
Kapil Raj Dhungel, Nepal
Being a Nepali in US, I think the Nepalese are angry at the new King not because of any other reason but because of the unknown truth when the whole royal family has been wiped out in massacre. I think, what Nepalese are looking for is the truth with proof. The Nepalese deserve a serious investigation into this matter. I think investigator must be allowed to enter room of palace where massacre occurred. I will always wonder why the post mortem report was not known to the public. Why can't survivors like Princess Shova( King's sister) speak out? Public would certainly would like to know, if Crown Prince Dipendra shot himself, was there only one shot in his body? Another thing I would like to say is that I am very embarrassed as a Nepali that the media would write the conspiracy against India when Nepal and India are very good friends.
Pritpal, CA, USA
Its time for us to start a new era, a revolution and say goodbye to the monarchy. Why should we suffer any more from the misconduct of the royal family. They kill each other and we the people have to suffer. We have had enough now. We Nepalese shouldn't accept Gyanendra as a new king and shouldn't refrain from coming onto the streets to protest against him. How can we accept that man Paras as our crown prince? I can't even imagine it. So peoples wake up from your sleep, stop dreaming of the monarchy. We don't want to be sucked dry by the monarchy anymore.
If the government wants peace and its people not to live in the grief for a very long time they should tell the whole truth. But it appears they will not. If there are any survivors of the massacre it will be good for the independent press to have access to them so the people of Nepal know the whole truth. It appears the government will do all it can to cover the truth for whatever reason, only they and God know.
Well it is the most tragic thing that Nepal (a country of peace) has ever come up with. With the past reputation of the new King, one should not be against him. We all should support him. Nepal is going down and down. There seems no one to improve the country. The truth about the killing should be told to the people because the late Birandra was our King, King of Nepal. Regarding the new crown prince - well I do not support him at all. He shouldn't be the next King in future. If this ever happens then God save my country and my countrymen.
Due to the Nepalase government's incompetence and inadequate policies, we the innocent citizens of this peaceful loving country, Nepal have been facing all sorts of problems since the very start of Nepal's history. We the peace loving citizens strongly urge the Nepalese government to stop fighting with each other for money and power. All political parties should put their heads together and unite to build peaceful and beautiful Nepal.
I think that Gyanendra becoming King means that a new lineage is taking over and this will mean a change in the status of the monarchy in the country. Whereas King Birendra and Dipendra were part of a lineage which the people of Nepal had become used to give a certain level of respect. Now that lineage is no longer there, the same respect is no longer there.
I think the head governing body from the United Nations and other foreign officials has to find out the truth. This is a must because the truth will never be revealed to the Nepalese people from the current government. Right now all the Nepalese people are confused about who is to blame.
It is a great tragedy for the people of Nepal to lose the entire Royal Family. It will require a great deal of maturity and common sense by the man in the street to get over the emotional and godlike worship of the Royal Family. Rogue elements are bound to take advantage of the uncertainly created by this event. The people of Nepal should also realise that India had nothing to do with what has happened, and burning Indian newspapers and anti-India feelings will do their country no good in the long run.
I don't think people accept our New King because they are still in shock of our loyal King and Queen and Family. We still are in shock and want to know the real facts. We need justice for the nation.
Dibesh Karmacharya, USA
There is no way that we are gonna accept Gynendra as King or - more importantly - Paras as crown prince at any cost.
I love Nepal, its people and its mountains but it is a small country squashed between two great powers and the mighty Himalaya will not be able to stop who has interest in it. I only pray for its poor people who already have to face so much poverty not to have to face a civil war or a dictatorship...it would be a new great tragedy for the entire humanity.
In my view he should really work hard to win Nepalese people's hearts by investigating this crisis in Royal Family and practicing the ruling of the country like our Late King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah dev.
S B Shrestha, Kathmandu, Nepal
The first thing His Majesty Gyanendra will have to do, to gain acceptance of the people is to tell the people the truth about the tragic happenings to the Royal family. The rest depends on this, because the people are more or less in complete darkness about the events of the last couple of days.
As a Nepali studying in Perth, Australia I think the people should move ahead although it may be hard to put the tragedy behind them. Without letting the new king rule the country we should not judge him immediately and portray a negative image about him. I am sure that he will like his brother lead Nepal into the new dawn of constitutional monarchy. I request the people of Kathmandu to put off their violence because they are being sparked by the political parties of Nepal who wants to destabilise the country and take absolute powers in their own hands.
As a Nepali, I think it will take time to heal the wounds until justice is done. But the people of Nepal won't accept King Gyanendra's son Paras as the next Crown Prince. He has tarnished the royal image and the majority Nepalese won't accept his role as Crown Prince.
The official story that "a machine gun exploded" is clearly a lie. Guns do not just blow up, and any weapons used to guard a royal family should be well maintained. There would also be the proof; if Dipendra did kill his family then turn the gun on himself the weapon should have been found. If not, an exploded gun should have been produced as evidence. Nepal should request a delegation from the UN or Britain to carry out the investigation to ensure impartiality.
What the Nepalese people need is a full explanation of the events surrounding the deaths of their King, Queen, and members of the royal family. Since information regarding the deaths has led to frustration, and hence the riots and anger. The new King and government officials should immediately inform the people. The Nepalese people are a proud people and they will overcome this tragedy.
04 Jun 01 | South Asia
New king crowned in Nepal
03 Jun 01 | South Asia
Nepal left guessing on royal killings
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