April 21, 2006

the road to Kathmandu

Today was happy Spring in Kathmandu. The ultimate message by one ultimate messenger was heeded, and the right thing was done. What next, the Nepalese Republic? Only fitting for the nation with the ultimate summit.


Friday April 21, 2006

The Nepalese ruler, King Gyanendra, today promised that "executive power would be returned to the people" following more than two weeks of violence in which at least 14 people have died.

The king - who, backed by the military, seized power last year - said in an address to the nation that he had "unflinching commitment toward constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy".

"Executive power of the kingdom of Nepal, which was in our safekeeping, shall from this day be returned to the people," he said.

"We ask the seven-party alliance to recommend the name for the post of prime minister at the earliest."

"We have won the battle, but we still must win the war," Grihendra Shrestha, one of hundreds of marchers, said.

"This announcement has not cleared up everything," he told BBC World. "The ball is now partly in the court of the politicians and partly in the court of the protesters on the streets.

Mass demonstrations against King Gyanendra's absolute rule and the monarchy itself have been continuing for more than two weeks.

More than 100,000 pro-democracy protesters defied a government curfew to fill streets on the outskirts of Kathmandu today.

As the tension grew, so did the international pressure on the monarch. The US ambassador, James Moriarty, warned he could be forced from power within days unless he made major concessions to those who want him to relinquish absolute control.

"His time is running out," Mr Moriarty said in an interview with several reporters hours before the king's speech. "Ultimately, the king will have to leave if he doesn't compromise. And by ultimately, I mean sooner rather than later."


At 10:17 PM, Anonymous chanad said...

Good news indeed... but things seem far too wishy-washy right now. Let's hope that Gyanendra sticks to his words in the coming days.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger MR said...

You mean there is such a thing as a King going back on a public pledge and promise he royally made? And the free world would just happily accept and promote that?

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous chanad said...

I wouldn't dare suggest that such a thing could ever happen.


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