Ketaki Chester was a cousin of King Birendra, and was present with her sister at the Naryanhiti Palace on 1 June 2001 when Crown Prince Dipendra killed nine members of his family, including himself. Ten years later, Chester reveals some new information about what happened on that fateful night including how Dipendra kicked his father as he lay dying.
I was standing by the doorway of the billiard room with my sister, Jayanti, when Dipendra walked past dressed in combat fatigues and guns in both hands. Usually the Crown Prince would look around and acknowledge those present, this time I remember his eyes: they were very focused as if he was concentrating hard on something. I whispered to my sister, "Isn't he too old to be showing off those guns?" Even King Birendra thought his son had come to show him his weapons, but Dipendra let off a burst from the gun in his right hand. The bullets hit his father, wounding him. He said "Ke gareko?" before he slumped to the ground. Dipendra couldn't hold down the recoil because he had another firearm in his left hand, so the other bullets hit the ceiling.
Kumar Gorakh and Dr Rajiv Shahi were immediately at the fallen king's side to try to stem the blood pouring out. All of us also rushed to Birendra. That was when Dipendra came back the second time. Prince Dhirendra approached him and told him: "Pugyo Babu, you've done enough." Thinking that his uncle would try to disarm him, Dipendra shot Dhirendra. I think it was the realisation that he had just killed his favourite uncle that brought out the blood lust in Dipendra. He spun around and left the room, but when he returned for the third time he started spraying the whole room with bullets even as he entered the door.
By then, I was on the floor, trying to stop the blood pouring out of Dhirendra's wounds. His arms were on his chest, he was paralysed but conscious. Although himself grievously wounded, I remember him asking me if I was hit. It was then that I saw I was dripping blood. Bits of flesh from my left arm had fallen on Dhirendra's shirt, and two bullets had shattered my right shoulder. But there was no pain, the body in shock anaesthetizes you.
It all lasted barely five minutes, but the shooting seemed to go on forever. My sister lay dying. Queen Komal was hit in the chest. Sitashma remembered a bullet buzzing her ear. It was a miracle more people were not killed. When the firing started, Prince Paras was at one end of the room, and immediately herded his cousins and relatives behind a sofa. At one point Dipendra had Paras in his sights, but Paras said "Dai malai nahani baksyos …" Dipendra lowered his gun and let his cousin go. Shruti was unconscious, and bled to death in hospital because despite falling blood pressure the doctors did not undress her to find out where she was bleeding from.
After the shooting, Dipendra headed back to his room. His mother, Queen Aiswarya, and his brother, Nirajan, ran after him. Dipendra must have seen them both from the top of the stairs to his room, but in the darkness mistaken Nirajan for an ADC and let off a burst, killing his brother. Someone who was close by heard Queen Aiswarya then scream: "You have killed your father, you have killed your brother, kill me too. Han, han!" He then killed his mother and himself, and it was all over.
What struck me the most, and the memory of it all is still vivid in my mind as I play and replay it, is Dipendra kicking his father after he had shot him. In a way, it was even more shocking than the actual shooting itself. In our culture you never desecrate a dead person like that.
I am convinced now that Dipendra only wanted to kill his father. By law that would have made him the next king, and then he would tell us to keep quiet and that would be the end of it. It would have worked, no one would have dared speak the truth. My generation of family members were nearly all wiped out, only the younger generation remained, and they could have been convinced to remain silent. But after killing his uncle, he ran amok.
I believe Dipendra was just pretending to be drunk. He was walking unsteadily, but it was pretty clear he was putting on an act. I didn't know him that well, but this was a man inclined to extremes. He was very gifted, very talented, he had learnt a lot in his short life, after all he was groomed to be king since he was a child. He had very good PR with people.
It was pre-mediated and carefully planned. He wanted everyone to be there that night, he invited them personally. It is as if he wanted them all to be witnesses of the death of his father, and in some bizarre way he may have thought this would confer him more authority as king. It was in his nature to crave an audience.
Kathmandu is a place full of rumours, and there are many about Devyani giving him an ultimatum on their proposed marriage. She is a very well brought up lady, but was not the type that would put that kind of pressure on anyone. He was under a lot of stress, however, and it may have been the combination of tension about his marriage and other things that caused him to snap. And he did it in a way that he took the country down with him.
Prince Gyanendra was away in Pokhara, a helicopter was sent to get him, but couldn't fly out because of bad weather. The army was sent to fetch him to Kathmandu by road, and the soldiers had been told not to tell him anything. Apparently when the soldiers came for him in Pokhara, he thought there had been an army coup and he was being detained.
I believe Prince Gyanendra would have joined the dinner if Dipendra had insisted, and if he had made it to the palace that night, like everyone else he would probably not have been spared. He and his son Prince Paras were never involved in any of this. I wish the word spread that they are totally blameless. What happened that night was the beginning of the end of the monarchy because of the act of one of its members, although events in the years that followed also contributed.
I can't help thinking that had King Mahendra lived just ten years more, Nepal would have been on a much more solid footing. He was a true nationalist. And King Birendra had such great confidence in the Nepali people, he felt they could do anything if only given the opportunity. He was uncomfortable about wielding absolute power and was happiest playing his constitutional role. He was full of optimism about the future of Nepal, you felt blessed just to be able to talk to him.
To this day, my biggest regret is that we did not jump Dipendra after he fired the first shots that night. I curse myself for not doing that, had we acted sooner so many people would not have died.
But if you ask me who bears the most responsibility and who could have saved the royal family and Nepal monarchy, it is Girija Prasad Koirala. I remember the prime minister came to Chhauni hospital the next day and he was sitting on the floor next to Queen Mother Ratna and he asked her "Sarkar, what shall I tell the people?" The Queen Mother replied: "This is not something you should hide from the people. It may tarnish our family, we can live with that. But hiding the true facts will hurt the nation." But with the media blackout, and the ridiculous press conference of Speaker Ranabhat, truth was the casualty and conspiracy theories spread.
If the prime minister had followed the Queen Mother's advice, perhaps things would have turned out a lot different for the country. Of course, it didn't help that the palace was telling the international press that the deaths were caused by the "accidental discharge of an automatic weapon". It made us look ridiculous in the eyes of the world. And it was a mistake to make Dipendra king, how can someone who is brain-dead be declared king, there must have been provisions in the laws of succession to prevent this.
I was taken to hospital with the others. I was in pain killers, and in the ICU I dreamt that the entire family was back in a room, talking and smiling, but Dipendra was outside. My right arm never healed completely, I can't raise it more than halfway. But more than the physical wound, I am still haunted by the memory of that terrible night, the death of my sister and the others. It was a hideous thing that happened, and the last ten years have been very, very difficult for me.
"I believe Dipendra was just pretending to be drunk. ... It was pre-mediated and carefully planned. He wanted everyone to be there that night, he invited them personally...I believe Prince Gyanendra would have joined the dinner if Dipendra had insisted."
This eye witness testimony seems convincing. But there is no convincing eye witness to explain how Dipendra ended up dead, and Gyanendra absent (and fearing arrest when the army came to collect him). It suggests that Dipendra did not insist on Gyanendra being present because he did not want Gyanendra involved
Those facts suggest somebody, presumably in the military, knew of Dipendra's plans and took advantage of them to ensure somebody more capable of maintaining military rule than Dipendra would end up as King.
One would assume Indian intelligence would keep these people under surveillance and know their plans.
27 MAY 2011 | 2:24 PM NST
who did the killings is still mysterious and how many dipendra were there on that day.. did dipendra use to behave strangely before...was he a senseless prince as described here? if so, it was never came to public? the question is why was dipendra's strage personality not known before the killing? how was he able to hide his extremity in public?
27 MAY 2011 | 7:34 PM NST
My sympathy and thoughts are with Ketaki and rest of the royal family for the unimaginable loss they have suffered. I hope prayers and time will help heal their pain and suffering.
27 MAY 2011 | 8:13 PM NST
4. Dhan B. Tamang
Ever since I had an opportunity to gain a firsthand peek of how the palace functions in conducting their own and the nation's affairs, and how the royalties in reality treat the common Nepalis, I was completely disillusioned towards the monarchy. The palace was in the hands of a coterie and with a constant (unhealthy) competition among advisors and aasaypaasays to come ahead from one another through a sycophancy. This was about a decade before the Royal massacre. Yet, I continued to be a supporter of the monarchy thinking that it would act as a strong unifying factor in the massaic of various ethinic groups and privileged groups. My own ethnic group was severely marginalised over the history and continued to be so even after the so called democracies of 1980s and 1990s. The Royal Palace seems to have decided to give a pass to my group at the behest of the Palace sycophants and advisors. Despite it, my group supported the monarchy wholeheartedly but, with the awakening of the people, this support was in the erosion. The Palace, with supreme power and influence stood there and did nothing to integrate my group into the mainstream. The point I am trying to make is that the Royal Palace had lost a support of a group which had remained loyal with them, despite martinalisation, throughout the history.
So, I would not blame Girija for not saving the monarchy. I would also not blame Ranabhat for handling of the Massacre information. Over the centuries, Nepalis have been drilled through their brains to lie anything when it comes to the Royal Palace. They did just that. Competency had never been a plus point for both Girija and Ranabhat. Girija had the best moment to shine at the time of crisis and show his leadership. He faltered and faltered and blew it up.
Girija also does not deserve credit for finishing off the monarchy. The monarchy fell on the ground with its own weight, signs of which were appararent several years before it collapsed, of which I have mentioned above my brief experience from outside of the Palace.
After the Royal massacre, people will never be reciting a fairy tell that begins with ..."ekadeshma euta rajkumar...".
It is not a matter of saving the palace or monarchy. It is also not necessary to shift blames now.
I think it is important for all of us, but even more so for those who were in the privileged class at that time, to search our souls and see what duties we did not fulfull to serve the people in cognizant of the changing times. If we did not learn a lesson from this horrendous crime of the history, only a mass earthquake is awaiting.
Finally, I'm sure there is more to come out yet on the R massacre.
27 MAY 2011 | 8:58 PM NST
5. silwal bijay
Everything that has been published is not enough to point Dipendra as the one and only person involved in the incident ...i think the views expressed by Baburam Bhattarai at that time are worth taking into consideration........
27 MAY 2011 | 9:54 PM NST
This ghastly incident once again reiterates the fact that we have lost sense of our history, culture, and societal norms and values. Even modern players seem to have been anesthetized by "sattako unmaat", and have lost touch with the ground reality of our country. Largely indulged on personal lust and greed for power, they have weakened the moral fibers of our society. Enslaved by the grips of reactive postures and lust for an instantaneous gratification, the political establishments of Nepal have failed to understand our true National Character; they even ignored 'Who we are as a Nation'. It is rather ironic that a Nation that survived numerous wars vis a vis the colonial powers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and lived through the hardship of economic blockade as recently as two decades back, was forced to kneel down to the disgrace of the internal players. Time has come for us to better understand our Nation and people!
27 MAY 2011 | 11:04 PM NST
"One would assume Indian intelligence would keep these people under surveillance and know their plans."
Why would you assume this? And why do you still doubt Gyanendra's absence? Look, I'm not fan of the man but you give far too much credence to both him and the Nepali army if you think anyone was aware of what was about to transpire.
Ketaki Chester's statement that Gyanendra would have been there that night if Dipendra has insisted was mere speculation. Also, while it does not absolve him of this crime, her insistence that he was not drunk but may have been an observation of someone under drugs- this is my speculation. Either way, this is the result of a lunatic prince and not the complex doings of a sophisticated plot.
27 MAY 2011 | 1:25 AM NST
8. Utsav Shrestha
Why would anyone believe this? It could be just another bullshit coming up in politics!! Death is still mysterious.
27 MAY 2011 | 1:25 AM NST
I think its "utterly ridiculous" to believe that Dipendra did it..both his public personality and the nature of the events go against it. I am not pointing fingers at anyone. Had dipendra only shot his dad, it would have been believeable but shooting his entire family..shooting his brother thinking it was ADC, shooting a pregnant sister and on top sparing whole gyanendra clan. This all seems very weird.
27 MAY 2011 | 2:22 AM NST
10. who cares
press in nepal has always been traitor, dumb.
i cant use honest words, sentence regarding evils but these evils could call nepalese bheda (sheep).
".............................. nationalist. And King Birendra had such great confidence in the Nepali people, he felt they could do ........................ "
what does that mean? bheda...
media like this has always made nepalese vulnerable.
28 MAY 2011 | 10:33 AM NST
She is only trying to save gyanendra...
I would assume that Indian intelligence keeps tabs on palace intrigues because Nepal was an Indian dependency run from the palace together with the embassy and India was concerned about the war with the Maoists due to its own internal Maoist problems. It would certainly not be technically difficult for military and Indian intelligence to become aware of Dipendra's intentions since gossip is widespread, the military and india are intertwined (even honorary generals as COAS) and mobile phones are easily monitored.
If Dipendra had survived it would be easier to conclude that it was just the result of a lunatic Prince.
But since he is dead some doubt whether it was Dipendra at all.
My suggestion was that it could be BOTH a lunatic prince and others. Opportunistically killing a prince who had just murdered his father the King, is not a particularly sophisticated "plot".
Encouraging or not preventing the prince killing his father is not particularly sophisticated either. Nor is encouraging the one you would like to see King to stay away.
28 MAY 2011 | 11:21 AM NST
13. Sachchi Ghimire Karki
Why is this memoir with a clear leaning towards Gyanendra published now, when the political turmoil is at its peak? How come old Ms. Chester remember the details of the incident so well like scenes from a favorite movie? It does sound fishy that the details she mentions closely match the details published on the media regarding the incident earlier. Did she mug it up?
Well if the political parties continue the bickering, and there is no concrete outcome, the country with centuries long history of monarchy still retains people who are happy to be ruled over by the ones who 'were born' to rule them rather than the thugs, who are looting the state, when they can.
28 MAY 2011 | 11:26 AM NST
14. Arthur #13 and others, I am struck by the fact that most of the comments here see this article as leaning towards Gyanendra.
Interestingly the usual royalist commentors have not said anything yet.
Maybe I am missing something about the way the article reads to Nepalis.
But my impression as a foreigner is still that it highlights how completely dysfunctional the monarchy was and the absurdity of anyone imagining that monarchy could be restored.
The article recognizes that:
"What happened that night was the beginning of the end of the monarchy because of the act of one of its members, although events in the years that followed also contributed."
That is what matters in the context of today's absurd posturing by monarchists.
Whether monarchists prefer to blame GPK or Gyanendra for their "end" does not really matter. They know that Nepal is finished with monarchy.
I still think Kunda Dixit understands that much, and that these articles are more likely to be a warning to the monarchists reading Nepali Times rather than an encouragement to them.
Usually monarchists are very noisy in the comments here. But they don't seem to be saying much in celebration of these articles!
28 MAY 2011 | 5:42 PM NST
I'm not a monarchist and I'm glad that monarchy has ended. I believe it should not and would not be restored.
But, commentators here have to maintain some level of decency and sensitivity when blithely criticizing someone who saw so many of her family members murdered in such absolute blood-letting moments.
Ketaki is a human being, just like you and me. At least show her the compassion that someone deserves who saw what she did. She's not someone made of cold stone. Imagine yourself in her shoes... you seeing your sister shot to death, along with your cousins, and then have people call you names, "old Ms. this and old Ms. that." Don't add insult to injury.
It's fair to have doubts about who was responsible for the royal palace rampage. Maybe it was Dipendra alone, or maybe not. Or, maybe it was entirely somebody else.
Ketaki is at least right in one thing -- G.P. Koirala hid the truth, whatever truth he knew. He was the prime minister and he didn't fulfil his duty of conducting a free and fair investigation.
28 MAY 2011 | 1:46 AM NST
Very tragic and horrifc account by Ms Ketaki Chester of what happened during that night of the Royal massacre. It is very bold of her to give this account to the media, taking into consideration the current political climate, also the savageness and insensitive attitudes of many commentators on this website.
It is not of interest to me that Ms Chester is a royal or commoner to experience seeing her sister killed before here eyes, all her loved close family slaughtered by one of her own kin and at same time almost face death through injury herself deserves our deepest sympathies and respect of what she has gone through.
There will always be consipiracy theorists you can't stop them, even if they sound the most bizzare, grand and highly imaginative. We continue to speak about the Royal Masaacre even today because I guess the Royal Family did mean something to us all whether positively or negatively and hence the theories to their deaths. I guess every one has an agenda to bring out their conspirarcy theory but then again we weren't there unlike Ms Ketaki Chester.
But this account has reconfimred alot of what I have suspected from various documentaries, also reading the accounts of other memebers of the Royal family, witnesses and medical staff who were present at the time. There are many accustaions being made to various high profile Royals as possibly colluding with the Crown Prince Dipendra in the mass murder but then you have to look very closely of what happened that night(who were hurt), the events leading upto the killings, what actually happened and what has happened since. The core motives behind the actions of the Crown Prince or any other individual inorder to kill so many people and leaving so many witnesses behind.
29 MAY 2011 | 5:50 PM NST
17. Prakash K. Bhattarai
Considerations and considerations after considering must be considered to see the real picture. Who should be or not must be really considered to get the final story so that misconceptions will never prevail to our children, youths and our parent's too. History and historical facts WORKS BEST FOR ALL :)
30 MAY 2011 | 12:48 PM NST
18. John M. Kelleher
Mrs. Chester's candor and open transparency on this tragedy are, and always have been, much appreciated. I think it is significant that her narrative of events has never changed on any single detail, nor have any of the other surviving witnesses to the massacre ever wavered in their version of events.
People who are eager to peddle silly conspiracy theories, such as commentators # 5, 8, 9, 11 and 13, may wish to consider that they cannot possibly know more about the affair than someone who was unlucky enough to be in the room as the whole horrible event transpired in front of their own eyes. Every detail of that night is probably burned into Mrs. Chester's memory, as indeliby as the physical injuries which have never fully healed.
>> "But my impression as a foreigner is still that it highlights how completely dysfunctional the monarchy was and the absurdity of anyone imagining that monarchy could be restored." --Arthur [#14]
Odd, that's not what this "foreigner" gleaned from the article, and I'm quite certain it is not what Mrs. Ketaki Chester would have intended to convey. She is, as you may or may not know, an erstwhile Princess herself, and a grand-daughter of the late King Tribhuvan. Her narrative does of course highlight the dysfunctionality of one particular Prince who is now deceased and, therefore, irrelevant to the present Royal Family or its future.
But, I think her sensitive, candid narrative also highlights the human accessiblity and sympathy which could often characterize Nepal's royalty behind the stiff facade of public formality. This sympathetic side has, most recently, been put on display with the laudable inauguration of the Himani Trust.
Yes, Nepal's royalty has a history which is decidedly mixed, to say the least, and its track record has not always been glorious. That is not quite enough for some of us to write it off as a loss, or to deny the institution's utility as a custodian for a gradually-developing parliamentary democracy. Others disagree, of course, and I have met a select few who can argue the republican case in a manner that I consider both nuanced and credible. But you, Arthur, with your ridiculous penchant for the Maobadi thugs and for the most militant incarnations of revolutionary Communism, are probably not the most credible apologist for the ganatantric side.
30 MAY 2011 | 1:35 PM NST
What has become clear from reading articles here is that Dipendra was a psycopath with gun in his hand. What he did was utmost betrayal which makes' huliya' Paras look sober.
Thank god these two never became king and saved common people from lot of misery ( not that politicians are any better)
30 MAY 2011 | 1:14 AM NST
First off, my thoughts and sympathies are with the people who have to live with this loss at a personal level. For me the Monarchy was a political institution and I have never had a direct personal connection with it but accounts of the massacre, such as this one, are as heart wrenching as they are grotesque. Many Nepalese, regardless of their political persuasion, grieved not just the death of a popular monarch but at the tragic implosion of what was an iconic family.
A couple of thinks struck me after reading this article:
(1) "and then he would tell us to keep quiet and that would be the end of it. It would have worked, no one would have dared speak the truth. My generation of family members were nearly all wiped out, only the younger generation remained, and they could have been convinced to remain silent."
Replace the character Dipendra with Gyanendra in this plot and you could be reading the exact same argument made by people who believe it was Gyanendra who orchestrated the whole thing. Such people believed that the survivors of the massacre would not speak up in the interests of the monarchy and family, they would keep mum, rally around the new King and help him cover up. It is interesting to note that such a code of silence would have actually worked in the royal family per Ms Chester's remarks. If such silence would have worked for Dipendra one can only reasonably assume that it would have worked in Gyanendra's favor too.
(2) I think Girija Koirala did the best anyone in his position could have done for the Monarchy. He offered the 'baby-king' option, which in spite of its flaws and shortcomings, was the best chance the Monarchy had at survival. King Gyanendra miscalculated that if he stood his ground on this issue, the parties would have to budge. Or perhaps Girija is conveniently scapegoated in this article for everything that went wrong in Nepal as has become the norm amongst those not happy with democracy and the abolishing of the Monarchy.
(3) I personally am convinced that Dipendra killed his father and I have often been called names by anti-monarchists for believing this. However, I am still skeptical that Dipendra killed himself. A right-handed person, supposedly drugged and intoxicated, shooting himself using his left hand still remains the main unresolved angle in all this. Perhaps Kunda Dixit should have asked Ms Chester what she thinks of this.
(4) Finally, does it really matter what happened ? The Monarchy is long gone and if a recent Nepali Times poll is to be believed, only a fractional fringe want it back. If there is anything that will make the Nepali people change their mind about the Monarchy, it is not any new revelation about the royal massacre, but rather the continued failure of the current ruling classes to provide good governance.
31 MAY 2011 | 9:54 PM NST
I do not believe this and do believe this at the same time as we are not in any way in the position to believe this or disbelieve this coz we lack proper and convincing investigative proofs to prove or disprove all this. Sometimes I wonder how in the world we are living in,this thing is still mystery. As a common people my general notion for all this is that no one wants the truth to be revealed.Sometimes i suspect that so called big players of that time might have compromised with all this and agreed upon not revealing anything. The question."who was responsible for the horrifying massacre?", will never be answered and common people of my generation would always be in the confused state,however,the generation of people from the future would deeply believe that Deependra was the man responsible.
01 JUNE 2011 | 2:33 PM NST
RIP The Last Royals of Nepal. I have never had a shadow of doubt that it was the then Late CP Dipendra indeed who was the perpetrator and my thoughts stay with the members that are alive today who will have to live with this their entire life.
Sadly, we Nepalese folks feed on conspiracy theory and emotional flows stems lateral pragmatic reasoning and such is a case that has governed Nepal for centuries as it does now. I never had a doubt that the official version was the correct version, maybe a little stark to prevent more discomfort than the truth already projected. For the conspiracists, I do believe that everyone should understand that this is a problem and an act that tends to occur every day in the world, and every once in a while in Nepal. The sons killing their father and the daughters murdering their mothers. It can happen in every walk of life and in every class, yes, including the then Royals of Nepal.
In light of evidences and statements made public in so far, I also lend some credence to a likely scenario that Late Crown Prince Dipendra was shot by somebody other than committing a suicide. The entry wound on the left temple by somebody who is right-handed and the fact that the ADC of Late Prince Nirajan was the once Aide-de-camp to have been promoted to become the ADC of the new King Gyanendra while all other serving ADC were sacked due to negligence does credit this angle to a greater degree. (Read here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1419878.stm) However, it is equally probably that the Late CP murderer Dipendra just blew his own brains. Whatever way the events transpired, it was meant to happen.
Ketaki Chester - I admire you fully for coming out with the truth in the face of conspiracy loving citizens even after the immediate aftermath. I hope you live a long and happy peaceful life. Although you will never forget the moment of that tragedy, find peace in your heart knowing that people do believe you.
01 JUNE 2011 | 7:17 PM NST
23. Arthur John M. Kelleher #18,
"Yes, Nepal's royalty has a history which is decidedly mixed, to say the least, and its track record has not always been glorious. That is not quite enough for some of us to write it off as a loss, or to deny the institution's utility as a custodian for a gradually-developing parliamentary democracy."
#20 drew attention to this:
"By law that would have made him the next king, and then he would tell us to keep quiet and that would be the end of it. It would have worked, no one would have dared speak the truth."
Gyanendra and the military subsequently settled any doubts about the monarchy's utility as a custodian of parliamentary democracy by completely suppresing parliament and imprisoning the leaders of all the parliamentary parties.
But even if that historical fact had not reduced representation of monarchists in Nepal to 4 out of 601, nothing could more plainly highlight the dysfunctionality of the dynasty than that clear acknowledgement by a Princess that it would have worked and not one of them would have told the truth about the new King having murdered the old one.
01 JUNE 2011 | 8:35 PM NST
24. John M. Kelleher
>> "Gyanendra and the military subsequently settled any doubts about the monarchy's utility as a custodian of parliamentary democracy by completely suppresing parliament and imprisoning the leaders of all the parliamentary parties." --Arthur
A bit reductive, that. This facile synopsis leaves out the rather important fact that it was the incumbent NC government which asked the King to dissolve the 1999 parliament, which he then did on the Prime Minister's recommendation, as per accepted parliamentary practice. The failure of Premier Deuba to carry out fresh elections within the constitutionally-mandated 6 months led to his sacking a first and then a second time. The second occasion was accompanied by a state of emergency which had been brought into being by the Maoists' escalated attacks against the state during this period of political crisis - attacks which they had been launching against a constitutional government for a full decade by that juncture, for reasons which you have yet to satisfactorily explain to me despite my repeated requests for you to do so.
The mainstream parties' failure to fulfill their own constitutional mandate is what ultimately pushed the nation to a political crisis in 2005. You can certainly fault the King for taking corrective action that may have been disproportionate and ultimately counterproductive. That's an argument I can certainly accept as reasonable. What is unreasonable is to ignore the fact that it was the parties' incompetence that steered the constitutional settlement of 1990 onto the rocks - not royal opportunism, and not any intrinsic flaw in that document itself. Now, the same parties that made such a mess of their last democratic experiment are expected to craft the defunct constitution's successor, in tandem with an unreformed terrorist movement that launched a revolt against liberal parliamentary democracy itself in 1996. You'll have to forgive me if I strain to discern the expectation of "progress" in any of this.
What is so ironic, of course, is that Gyanendra's republican successor is being involuntarily cast into the same role, being alternately pushed into an active role by the parties and then faulted by them for allowing himself to be so pushed. I have to wonder what the same elements encouraging Yadav to embark upon a temporary period of "presidential rule" would be saying about him a year from now if he actually took their advice.
>> "But even if that historical fact had not reduced representation of monarchists in Nepal to 4 out of 601 [...]" --Arthur
4 out of 601 who happen to be openly proclaimed monarchists, in any event. And Arthur, if you really believe that the current C.A. represents both the will and the aspirations of the Nepali public at large, then I think you haven't been paying very careful attention recently.
>> "[...] [N]othing could more plainly highlight the dysfunctionality of the dynasty than that clear acknowledgement by a Princess that it would have worked and not one of them would have told the truth about the new King having murdered the old one." --Arthur
I think Ketaki's comments here are far more illustrative of her visceral (and understandable) resentment against the late Crown Prince Dipendra and against his actions and evident motives. A command of silence might have worked.... for a short while. Conspiracies are difficult things to pull off and keep quiet indefinitely. And, it's difficult to imagine why any supposedly coerced witnesses would be inclined to remain quiescent now, five years after the supposed coercive authority dissipated.
It is interesting, Arthur, that you [and that subhuman imp Baburam] can dredge up nothing better than theories on the royal massacre to "plainly highlight" the supposed "dysfunctionality of the dynasty." And again, Arthur, given the sheer lunacy of what you would prefer to see in the lapsed monarchy's place, I find it hard to take your objections of "dysfunctionality" seriously.
02 JUNE 2011 | 4:02 AM NST
25. mohan kc
Emotions aside, let me put this in terms of numbers. Since 1951 - when Shah dynasty resumed absolute power unitl the 90's - approximately fourty years, how many roads leading from KTM to Lalitpur did Ketaki's next of kins build? We are talking about the capital of the country let alone greater Nepal. This is just an example of the "beloved " Birendra family contribution to the country.
However, I do not wish such a fate to anyone and wish this did not happen to the royal family.
03 JUNE 2011 | 9:53 PM NST
26. Arthur #24,
"...it was the parties' incompetence that steered the constitutional settlement of 1990 onto the rocks..."
Agreed! As well as incompetence one could also mention corruption, subservience to the crown etc etc.
"...state of emergency which had been brought into being by the Maoists' escalated attacks against the state during this period of political crisis - attacks which they had been launching against a constitutional government for a full decade by that juncture, for reasons which you have yet to satisfactorily explain to me despite my repeated requests for you to do so..."
Any such "repeated requests" have not been noticed, perhaps due to the accompanying pointless spluttering.
Basically the people's war was launched to overthrow the "constitutional government" because people didn't want to live under a corrupt semi-feudal regime that had already become the poorest country in the region and was rapidly sinking to poorest in the world.
"What is so ironic, of course, is that Gyanendra's republican successor is being involuntarily cast into the same role, being alternately pushed into an active role by the parties and then faulted by them for allowing himself to be so pushed. I have to wonder what the same elements encouraging Yadav to embark upon a temporary period of "presidential rule" would be saying about him a year from now if he actually took their advice."
"...4 out of 601 who happen to be openly proclaimed monarchists..."
True enough. But that just confirms what hypocrites the other monarchists are and how unpopular their covert monarchist views are since they knew they could not get elected while openly proclaiming them.
"...Conspiracies are difficult things to pull off and keep quiet indefinitely. ..."
Especially difficult for incompetent relics from antiquity. We seem to be in furious agreement on that. As you know the official story was overwhelmingly rejected immediately, never mind lasting indefinately.
I frankly doubt that even you seriously expect anyone to believe the tale of the right handed but functionally ambidextrous Crown Prince who decided to shoot himself in the head with his left hand while nobody was watching.
PS A new issue of Nepali Times is out so I'm not interested in continuing this thread.
03 JUNE 2011 | 11:03 PM NST
27. zed Dipendra couldn't hold down the recoil because he had another firearm in his left hand, still looking for whther he could shoot with both hands ? anyone who has hunted knows that shooting from the other arm with a handgun is quite a normal thing....and in this case he started with two guns in two hands
03 JUNE 2011 | 11:37 PM NST
28. John M. Kelleher
>> "Any such "repeated requests" have not been noticed, perhaps due to the accompanying pointless spluttering." --Arthur
Your favorite stock refrain, again. Please see the parallel thread for my somewhat more substantive response to that. Is it really so difficult for you to defend your favorite mass-murdering fanatics that you have to revert to evasive tactics like this?
You haven't failed to notice my prior requests for you to justify the Maoists' anti-democratic insurrection, Arthur. What you lack is the wherewithal to credibly defend these thugs. It is interesting that you have elected to snip my entire discussion of the political particulars leading up to the crisis of 2005/2005, and instead chose to reply to a handful of general comments with facile one-liners.
I've told you before that your comprehension of Nepali politics is both willfully ignorant and deeply flawed, and you continue to prove me right each time you reply.
>> "Basically the people's war was launched to overthrow the "constitutional government" because people didn't want to live under a corrupt semi-feudal regime that had already become the poorest country in the region and was rapidly sinking to poorest in the world." --Arthur
So the "Peoples' War" was launched by "the people" themselves? The Maoists' egregious misnomer for their campaign of anti-national treason might imply so, but I'm afraid you are wrong again to take this as fact. The Maoists' are not, nor do they represent, "the people" of Nepal. If you knew a single Nepali person, I would not need to tell you this. The "Peoples' War" was launched by one specific party [a radical offshoot of the CPN - Unity Centre], with the intent of overthrowing a liberal multiparty democracy and replacing it with a communist "Peoples' Democracy."
That was the purpose of the CPN-M's "Peoples' War" - your attempt to romanticize this ghastly campaign against the nation and people of Nepal is indeed nothing but "spluttering," of which your output on these forums has been most prolific. Last I checked, Nepal is still one of the poorest nations in the world. The Maoists' credible plan for rectifying this would be.....?
>> "Especially difficult for incompetent relics from antiquity. We seem to be in furious agreement on that. As you know the official story was overwhelmingly rejected immediately, never mind lasting indefinately." --Arthur
"Overwhelmingly rejected" by proponents of conspiracy theories, such as you and dear Babbling Baburam. The official report, if delayed and badly presented by the then-incumbent G.P. Koirala government, did at least have the benefit of eyewitness testimony and examination. Conspiracy theories enjoy the benefit of nothing more than politically-driven speculation and rhetorical flatulence - of which your output on these forums has also been most prolific.
>> "I frankly doubt that even you seriously expect anyone to believe the tale of the right handed but functionally ambidextrous Crown Prince who decided to shoot himself in the head with his left hand while nobody was watching." --Arthur
Yes I do Arthur, because that is precisely what happened. If you believe otherwise, please do at least try to fortify your argument with facts instead of presenting your own tendentious theories as the incontrovertible truth. Your brash presentation of opinion as unassailable fact, and your consistent refusal to debate the veracity of your claims, does not do your own arguments any credit.
>> "PS A new issue of Nepali Times is out so I'm not interested in continuing this thread." --Arthur
Of course I understand Arthur - your public burlesque routines aren't nearly as satisfying without an audience. It's just a pity that you never seem "interested" in continuing very far with debates that you yourself elect to broach. Perhaps, if you are not really interested in debating your views, you may wish to stop picking arguments with "reactionaries" on N.T. discussion threads.
Just a bit of unsolicited advice, for someone whose smug bravado is clearly an overcompensation for his own chronic confusion about nearly everything.
03 JUNE 2011 | 1:16 AM NST
29. Arthur #29 "... Just a bit of unsolicited advice...",
My PS was a courtesy, as I generally do try to respond to arguments, if they have some relevance to the article posted or to my own comments, so I let people know when I am not likely to respond.
If you do want to debate it is best to post early in the week to maximize the number of alternating responses before the topic becomes stale at the end of the week.
I am rather less interested in your writing than you are, so naturally I will only respond while there is still an audience.
I prefer actual arguments on specific issues that other readers might wish to form an opinion about. If you prefer to waste your time and your audience on pointless abuse and lengthy repetition of your general world outlook, that is entirely up to you, but don't expect me to join you in such exchanges. I try to only respond to those snippets that I think others might be interested in a response to.
BTW "pointless spluttering" is not a stock refrain of mine. I usually simply ignore those parts of posts that I think are not worth responding to, without comment. In your case, since the problem is clearly not due to any difficulty with the english language, I have tried to draw your attention to a problem you could easily fix. The only way you can persuade me to engage is by actually making some point, that might persuade other readers who are not already in full agreement with your world outlook. You cannot force me to engage by repeating and elaborating on abuse or other stuff I have already ignored as pointless.
04 JUNE 2011 | 3:35 PM NST
30. John M. Kelleher
>> "If you prefer to waste your time and your audience on pointless abuse and lengthy repetition of your general world outlook, that is entirely up to you, but don't expect me to join you in such exchanges." --Arthur
Coming from someone who takes it as a personal affront when others refuse to take seriously his decrepit apologetics for one of the most discredited and appallingly hateful ideologies in the world, I find this quite funny.
Look at yourself in the mirror next time you say this, Arthur - and then ask yourself why don't find very many people willing to agree with you.
>> "The only way you can persuade me to engage is by actually making some point, that might persuade other readers who are not already in full agreement with your world outlook. You cannot force me to engage by repeating and elaborating on abuse or other stuff I have already ignored as pointless." --Arthur
Not sure what "abuse" you are referring to, unless it my characterization of Baburam and the Maoists in general as sub-human monsters. I won't be apologizing for that anytime soon.
I don't expect anyone else on these forums to be in full accord with my "world outlook" - as I've already made clear, I can have perfectly constructive discussions with reasonable, sane and decent people, whether they are for or against the monarchy. YOU are the one who cannot have a civil discussion with anyone who does not enjoy a 100% overlap with your own offensively militant views, including people who, whilst sympathetic to the pernicious myths of revolutionary socialism, aren't quite as flamingly militant as you are.
>> "I prefer actual arguments on specific issues that other readers might wish to form an opinion about." --arthur
As do I! It's just a pity that you tend to "snip" out those portions of my reply that deal with Nepal's political particulars and instead choose the broadest generalities to reply to with a few easy [and empty] one-liners.
I am so sorry you are inclined to dismiss all of my counter-arguments against the Maobadis as "pointless" simply because they will not lead to the dialetical conclusion you seem to be pushing on these forums. If you could take off your own ideological blinders for a minute, you might see that there are other perspectives than your own which are worthy of serious consideration.
I won't hold my breath.
04 JUNE 2011 | 12:29 AM NST
Re : John M. Kelleher
I'm really impressed by your discussions and view points showing great insight. Your articulate comments and replies are of the highest standard. You trully have put the person who writes as Arthur in his place.
I also wanted to get your opinion on ths topic regrading the Royal massacre. The Crown Prince Dipendra didn't die straight away from his injuries dying later in hospital, and as #27, zed correctly mentioned, "anyone who has hunted knows that shooting from the other arm with a handgun is quite a normal thing....and in this case he started with two guns in two hands." It is a known that those people who do try to shoot themselves even in the head, have a high failure rate for instant death and end up on a life support machine with brain injury instead. I guess it is our subconscious trying to save us in the end affecting our aim especially if your targeting ones's own temple as compared to say shooting upwards from under the chin with more surface area of the brain in the line of fire.
The fact that he didn't die straight from his injuries and from the location of the injury makes it extremely unlikely to have been a professional hit and more likely as Mrs Chester and many witnesses have said by him alone.
05 JUNE 2011 | 7:21 PM NST
32. Naresh Newar
Wow. This is really one of the finest pieces related to the royal massacre, a rare interview of a first hand witness giving a direct account, as the truth still haunts us. Scores of books on the massacre had failed what this story tells in just one page. Bless our favourite king, Birendra, whose tragedy actually brought me home from London in 2001 when I had just got an offer to work in a local English newspaper in Harrow.
06 JUNE 2011 | 2:04 PM NST
this is all jpt...........no one will believe this
07 JUNE 2011 | 9:22 AM NST
Come on people. Let us talk about issues facing Nepal and Nepalese like education, health,sanitation, lack of clean drinking water, hydropower, absence of good governance, looting of the state exchequer by the political parties etc etc etc rather than the Royal massacre.
09 JUNE 2011 | 10:08 PM NST
35. not needed
bt i dont think that this sorts of everlasting news hav ever exposed towards the public which would further make many dipendra criminals
11 JUNE 2011 | 10:00 AM NST
36. Bhuwan Thapa
Ketaki Chester you need to come up with a more stronger and a better write up to convince the world that Paras and his father is innocent in this. Although the picture posted and the write up is a good try I would say. YYour write up fails to explain who shot Dipendra or how did he shoot himself, why or how did he spare Paras when according to you he crossed paths with Dipendra? Why did only family members of King Birendra die including his daughter?? How did you guys survive the massacre were you guys wearing a Kelvar or were you all informed of the planned murder??
Better luck next time but this time we know YOU ARE A VERY GOOD LIAR and the timing of your article has more than trying to give Gyanendra a clean chit.
15 JUNE 2011 | 6:54 PM NST
37. Prakash shrestha
Thank you Ketaki Chester for your account of that dark night.
I don't know if 2/19 event could have been averted or not but what happens after that force but from this article and one appeared after the event, princess Shruti could have been survived if she were taken to any near by hospital (eg Birhospital, TU-teaching hospital) .
Lets think about following facts and decide in which century we live in...
ZERO science based study (no biopsy, postmortem test ect.) on dead bodies; nor any finger print analysis, study of weapons used -bullets in scene etc..
Cremation of dead bodies in less than 20 hours. (does not happen cremation of such a high profile people in such quick time any where in world)
Way the Deependra's body creamated.
Total black out of the (Nepali) media after the event... but European media flashing the breaking news few hours after the event.
May the departed souls rest in peace.
16 JUNE 2011 | 6:17 PM NST
38. dhruba raj
Whom ketaki saw may not be Dipendra, may be someone
with a plastic mask that is why his eyes looked very unusual looking very focussed hard on something. Publishing such article , it seems it is trying to conceal the truth and trying to condition the mind of people and the world. Let some ageny like UNO or the sole superpower if any exists form a commtte to investigate it. or the wikileak publish the truth if it has the material. When Benazir Bhuto and RAfik Hariri Are assasinated the international agency came forward came forward to find the culprit Likewise the Nepal goernment and nepali media and even international media must come forward and request them to find out the royal assain of a peaceful country where Buddha was born 2555 years ago. D raj
16 JUNE 2011 | 3:07 AM NST
39. Naresh My feeling is this is clearly "the Himal Media cover-up" to save the legacy because its all publication shared this story then and also the allegiance to then monarchy.
The clear bastardization of truth.
Now, why can we be guaranteed that she didn't tip her fulcrum to Gyanendra's side?
1.About the intoxication:
First, it's said that Dipendra that day went to many functions.. the testimony of his sanity. And, who says that black intoxication sort of makes one totally gone. I often take marijuana that makes me feel what it does. Kunda, come with me I could say what this black thing does...it's such an absurd logic that by accounts, I would have savaged the earth.. Who says that intoxication leads so savage instincts take the fore of consciousness. Any intoxicant that yields such horrendous confusion doesn't let one thought and energy to lift a gun and fire some shots. Now, she says Dipendra was sane enough to spare Paras as he came to ask not to kill him.
2. Coincidence or cover-up?
Why was Gyanendra's entire family so safe? Do you expect any royalite come and say that it's other way round than Dipendra doing it? As I already said this is a perfect cover-up..
3. Search Other Proofs
So who has authentic audio/video recording? Who's DNA sampled? Who's other medically approved forensic tests? In modern jurisprudence, testimonies are to be supplemented by clear facts.....Who did autopsy?..Where are then used guns..it's but a conspiracy theory that there was a masked Dipendra which is easy to afford..it may cost some lakhs..
4. Changed Faces
It may be that Deependra did it..but Kunda and Himal Media trying to caulk up its own hole by taking verbatim of one man clearly points to what extent this Media has shared allegiance to the then Monachy...they sound now as if they are perfect republicans...I can haunt their thoughts...
5. If you aren't Vendetta Incarnate, why denial?
Why was autopsy denied then? Why was that billiard room savaged? Is it not said that Nirajan was right near the pond? there is a loophole left....
6. Now, May Be..But then?
Why did Nepali Times and its sister publications shared this thing without clear proof, then after this was propagated in Nepali air? Actually, NT was ardent royalists than ....that confesses 'eerily' but retrospectivelythat then its normal headline was Long Live the King.
7. Raktakunda's Bayan!
Where goes Raktakunda..the classic narratice of that day's shroudwhich has an outsider inside the place sneaking a perfect peek about the real plan executed that day..why do Kunda fears to write the voice of that lady.
Thanks all comments......
20 JUNE 2011 | 11:36 AM NST
40. peter Shahi
Ha Ha I can assure that 90% of Nepalis could not believe that it was done by Dipendra .. If this paper do survey result will be like this.( though it may not be ethical to do).. You dont need to be Maoist or any other party not to believe this incident as I hate every Political party.. Why all Gyanendra clan were safe and made a visit to pokhara? why a Serchan man brought forward to take a responsibility for this case.? Everyone knows who has done if they are real people of Nepal....
24 JUNE 2011 | 6:42 AM NST
Wah wah, it seems that Dixit family is trying to prove in favor of Gyanendra. is it a coincidence that Kanak Dixit writes in his book that Dipendra killed all his family members and now his media house produces eye witness who support it. But one thing is clear Nepali people will not trust on those nonsense arguments and has forgotten to dig out the rotten rats.
24 JUNE 2011 | 1:18 PM NST
42. Birendra's fan
Dipendra didn't succeed to rain the bullets on his father, hadn't the king Birendra been surrounded by those lute (coward) Thakuris so called royals. Shame on them
24 JUNE 2011 | 9:47 PM NST
May the King come back and chop off the heads of those who are destroying the nation. The criminals, terrorists, mass murderers cannot be in the government.
Sorry for King Dipendra. He must not have killed himself even if he killed others.