Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"Not active, but constructive monarchy."



On active monarchy
"An active monarchy is not reasonable in itself in the 21st century. Neither is it the demand of the times, nor is it our wish. You can, however, call it a constructive monarchy that, remaining within the constitution, performs its duty toward the people.The country should not have a situation where people from different professions, religions, shades of opinion and customs are driven to frustration, and because there is no one to redress their grievances they are forced to rebel."

On granting audience to Maoist leaders
"Maoist rebels are also Nepalis. Such a meeting is not impossible. But, since the talks are taking place under a certain process, it is not necessary for me to meet them. A government with executive powers is involved in negotiations, and it will decide. A constitutional monarch need not meet them and make decisions. It is for the government to clarify the necessity of such a meeting."

On royal property
"I don't have any personal property. Whatever I have and use belongs to the state. That apart, whatever is being used by the royal palace and the royal family is the state's property and the government is fully aware of it. Even Nirmal Niwas, that I have been using personally and is now being used as the residence of the crown prince, belongs to the state. The property of the monarchy is something that is transferred from one king to the other and will continue that way in the future. Nobody is going to take it anywhere."

On the increased budget for the royal family.
"The budget is something the government allocated considering an official report on the security and management of the royal palace and the royal family. I certainly did not disagree with a proposal for improved security and management."

On constitutional monarchy
"We all believe there is no alternative to constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy. But some problems have arisen in this regard, and they are technical ones. That could be because some theories do not match our traditions and ground realities."

On Maoist demands for a constituent assembly
"We should be clear about the reasons why we raise certain issues. We must also examine how it will impact Nepal and Nepalis. It should be clear (the proposals) can lead to the development of Nepal and the prosperity of Nepalis."

On the king's authority
"The monarchy is exercising powers enshrined in the constitution prepared by the leaders of the change in 1990. We have never crossed the limit. The monarchy has not acted against the people's wishes, royal tradition or constitutional boundaries, and it will never do so."

On the royal move of 4 October
"I did not deny the invocation of Article 127 as recommended by the prime minister together with the agreement of political parties. That was my compulsion. The parties did not disagree even during the formation of the ministers' council. Why they raised their voices only after the expansion of the cabinet is something I don't understand."
- On the army's chain of command

The army is already under the parliament. Without the decision of the National Security Council that has the prime minister and defence minister, nobody can mobilise the army. Nor can it be managed or run without a budget endorsed by the parliament. As far as the position of supreme commander that the king has in the army, it is something that has been provisioned by the constitution. The head of the state in other countries too bear this responsibility. The reason for such an arrangement could be to keep a majority in parliament from using the army to suppress the minority.

On the national priority
"There is no debate that the people want peace, security and development. The peace process is moving ahead with the government's efforts. Thereafter, we need to prepare a priority agenda for development and a main policy on the basis of national consensus. That policy has to be implemented by whichever government even if there are differences on procedural matters. There is nothing wrong about debating these issues, but it is not right to get entangled in unnecessary sparring all the time. Time is running out, moreover, such an opportunity is quite rare. With today's fast pace of change, every second counts. Understanding this reality, why can't we have a roundtable conference for development just when we are talking about such a meeting in politics?

On the health check-up
There are no complications. However, the doctors have suggested that I get checked up from time to time. There is nothing to worry about.


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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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