Former king Gyanendra Shah rubbishes political change that saw him dethroned

Gyanendra Shah
The last press conference as a royal: Former King Gyanendra Shah speaking at a press conference before leaving the Narayanhiti Palace in 2008

“I opened the path for nation, nationalism and a national movement forward by stepping aside (from the throne). But I never separated myself from an aspiration for the supreme prosperity of the nation,” said Nepal’s dethroned king Gyanendra Shah in a scathing press release issued on the occasion of the 66th Democracy Day on February 18.

The statement from the 68 year old ex-monarch has clearly been intended to be a slap in the face of Nepal’s political leaders who, although finally did draft and institutionalise a new constitution last year, wasted years in political bickering and selfish power-plays without bringing about any major changes in the life of common men and women of the Himalayan nation.

His latest statement clearly holds the political parties responsible for giving the mass a hope only to break it yet again.

The current statute has not strengthened the nation. Instead, there are signs of discord throughout the country, he said. ”The people who harboured a dream for peace and political stability are in deep pain.” the last monarch of the Shah Dynasty said in his statement.

This has been dubbed as the sharpest of his criticism of the still-new republican system which led to this dethronement in 2008.

The criticism of the ex-royal attracted a severe warning from the secretary of the ruling CPN-UML Pradeep Gyawali who said Mr Shah could lose the ‘Nagarjun Palace’, which is but a non-descript bungalow on the forested outskirts of the capital city.

The Himalayan Times reported yesterday that Mr Gyawali issued the warning while speaking at an interaction programme on constitution implementation in Beshisahar of Lamjung. The ex-king might have to quit his residence (Nagarjun Palace) the way he had to vacate the Narayanhity Palace after the country was declared a republic if he was not ready to accept the republican system, the leader warned.

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