Nepal's ousted king prepares to leave palace

The palace was the scene of the 2001 massacre of then King Birendra and most other members of the royal family reportedly by Crown Prince Dipendra, who later turned the gun on himself.

Nepal's ousted king prepares to leave palace

Nepal's deposed king Gyanendra prepared to leave his sprawling palace on Wednesday to live like a commoner two weeks after the government abolished the 239-year-old monarchy.

Nepal's constituent assembly had given him until Thursday to vacate the Narayanhiti royal palace and move to his private residence.

But Gyanendra had said he had no place to go to and was then allowed by the government to live in Nagarjun palace, a complex of about a dozen tin-roofed concrete huts, its luxuries nothing compared to the main palace in Kathmandu.

Gyanendra used the complex as summer and hunting retreat in the past.

"Yes he is leaving for Nagarjun today. That is the plan," his press secretary Phaniraj Pathak said on Wednesday. He gave no details.

More than hundred people gathered outside the venue of the constituent assembly meeting to demand Gyanendra not be allowed to live at his former hunting resort.

"Give alms, not palace, to the beggar," some protest placards read.

Officials said Gyanendra was expected to hand a crown studded with diamonds and rubies as well as the ceremonial sceptre to a government team preparing an inventory of the property and valuables before he leaves Narayanhiti palace.

The palace was the scene of the 2001 massacre of then King Birendra and most other members of the royal family reportedly by Crown Prince Dipendra, who later turned the gun on himself.

Gyanendra, who was not in Kathmandu that night, was vaulted to the throne.

But he became unpopular after he seized absolute power in 2005, only to be humbled by weeks of street protests a year later.

Many Nepalis are unhappy about Gyanendra's move to Nagarjun palace, the ownership of which was taken over by the government last year.

"He is allowed to move from one palace to another. This is not good," said Shambhu Kandel, a farmer.

"He is rich and can make arrangements for his own stay."

Abolishing the monarchy was a key condition in the 2006 peace deal with Maoist rebels, who fought a decade-long civil war in which more than 13,000 people were killed.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Haziran 2008, 13:11
YORUM EKLE