From our man in Kathmandu – The cabinet of the Nepalese government haveturned their backs on the King, refusing for the first time to receive the traditional Hindu blessing of tika.
The Home Minister was quoted as saying that the King had been “sidelined” and that there was no longer any need to show him the traditional respect.
On a more positive note, the head of the army, Gen. Rukmangat Katwal did attend, albeit in civilian dress. General Katwal has remained a staunch supporter of His Majesty despite numerous orders from the Prime Minister to adopt a ‘neutral’ stance.
The General and almost all the senior officers of the army were appointed by the King, and it was denied by army command that all senior staff had been ordered to recieve tika from the King.
As calls for the deposing/exiling/murder of the King grow from the politicians, the army appears to remain true. While the so-called Seven Party Alliance seems to command little love and no respect among the people, His Majesty continues to be swamped by well-wishers.
The cabinet are now facing serious questions over their ability to carry out their republican aspirations.