Nepal's deposed king agrees to leave palace

Nepal assembly gave former king Gyanendra 15 days to vacate the palace.

Nepal's deposed king agrees to leave palace
Nepal's deposed king agreed Monday to peacefully leave the royal palace in Katmandu and live as a common citizen after the Himalayan nation last week declared itself a republic, the home minister said.

Home Minister Krishna Sitaula was among several government officials who met with Gyanendra at the Narayanhiti palace in the capital on Monday, in the first direct contact between the former king and the government since a newly elected Constituent Assembly abolished the monarchy on May 28. The assembly gave Gyanendra 15 days to vacate the palace.

Gyanendra said he accepted the assembly's decision and that he would move out of the palace by June 12, Home Minister Krishna Sitaula said after the meeting.

"The former king appeared to be in relaxed mood and was not agitated. He did not give any indication that he would resist the government order to move out," Sitaula said. Gyanendra asked that the government assist in finding alternative accommodation for him and his mother.

"Once the issue is resolved he would immediately move," Sitaula said.

The Constituent Assembly has proposed that the Narayanhiti palace be turned into a national museum. Some local newspapers have suggested that Gyanendra might try to keep some of the palace's contents for himself.

"He told us not to believe the rumors and that he had not moved the royal assets out of the palace and destroyed any documents," Sitaula said.

Gyanendra said he would fully cooperate with government officials in charge of assessing property inside the palace, as well as in the handover of security from his personal guards to government personnel.

The former king also asked that the government provide security at his new home, Sitaula said.

Palace officials were not immediately available to comment on the meeting.

The monarchy's end was the culmination of a two-year peace process that saw communist insurgents give up their armed struggle, join mainstream politics and take the most seats in April's election for the Constituent Assembly, which will rewrite Nepal's constitution.

On Sunday, the former rebels turned a mountain palace — Gyanendra's ancestral home — into a public museum. Gyanendra has never lived in the palace at Grouch, about 75 miles west of Katmandu, but he makes annual visits for religious ceremonies.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2008, 08:48