Speculation is rife among the chattering classes of Kathmandu as to the motives behind King Gyanendra’s message welcoming the recent ‘peace’ deal signed between the Seven-Party Alliance Government and the Maoist rebels.
Despite informed reports that His Majesty’s press secretariat had shut up shop and abandoned the country en masse, a statement issued from somewhere inside the Royal Palace declared that “His Majesty appreciates the contributions of all those involved in bringing an end to the bloodshed, violence and terrorism through the peace accord and hopes that, by ensuring sustainable peace, a prosperous Nepal can now be built with the collective efforts of all Nepalese people through multiparty democracy”.
Pilloried as the “most humiliated man in Asia”, His Majesty’s magnanimous gesture should have been taken at face value, but newspapers throughout the country devoted many column inches to rumours that it was nothing but the latest cunning ploy in the King’s project to retain power and eventually re-assert his authority.
Indeed, other news sources have reported growing frustration in republican circles as it becomes clear that the Nepalese people are not so fed up with monarchy as their lords and masters in the ‘democratic parties’ are telling them to be. As one commentator writes, “Privately, key campaigners now decry the people as imbeciles.”
Meanwhile, former army chief Sachit Sumsher Jung Bahadur Rana, a close adviser to the Royal regime, has spoken of His Majesty’s feelings of betrayal. Speaking about the events surrounding the King’s decision to re-instate parliament last April, Rana said, “The Indian envoy told His Majesty that if he stepped down he could become a ceremonial king again. However, the very next day, they said, ‘India has no role in the future of the monarchy, it’s for the people to decide.’ The king felt he had been set up… He reinstated the defunct parliament and then everything started to go wrong … the agenda coming from the south (India) was to remove the king, weaken the army and weaken religion.”
Rana also makes the point that Girija Koirala and the Seven-Party Alliance must have made certain commitments to the Monarch before he reinstated parliament in order to secure the King’s personal seal of approval when he swore in Koirala as his prime minister. These commitments now appear to have been reneged upon.
In any case, it becomes increasingly clear – if somewhat ironic given the Maoists’ stated intentions – that the only man not to lose his head in all of these shenanigans is His Majesty King Gyanendra Shah himself, who stands above the petty politicians and murderous Maoists like a colossus. Only he can bring real peace and order to a country ravaged by disloyalty and treachery. God save the King!
Blood on his hands: Koirala and Prachanda in their act of betrayal