Nepali Times Asian Paints
Nation
TULSI GIRI



These days His Majesty is touring various parts of the country to find out for himself the condition that you, his subjects, live under. Isn't that his right? Yet, those who call themselves the people's representatives are saying he shouldn't be doing it. They say that as a constitutional monarch he should relax in his palace. Girija Prasadji says that the king is like the idol of Pashupatinath. What he doesn't realise is that hundreds of thousands of devotees seek the blessings of Pashupatinath and they turn to it in times of difficulty even though it is just a stone figure.

When the 1990 constitution was promulgated it wasn't because of the People's Movement, it was because His Majesty himself exercised his right to change the constitution. This is an inalienable right that has been vested on the monarch from time immemorial. No one can take it away and if anyone tries, His Majesty also has the right to protect it.

Now, they say they want to debate whether the monarchy should be kept or done away with. It's not so simple, this is a potentially huge leap. Where did these so-called democrats get the right to demand that? After all, His Majesty has said he is committed to multiparty democracy and constitutional monarchy. The parties have now called for a democratic republic even though they know the people will never accept it.

The parties say there is no democracy after February First. On what basis are they saying this, give me one reason. There are parties, they are allowed to hold meetings and demonstrations. After all, the king had to make his move because there was no parliament. I told foreigners: parliament was dissolved by the parliamentary parties themselves, years before the king took over. Now the parties want to restore parliament and for that Article 127 needs to be invoked-and when the king used the same article they said he was acting unconstitutionally.

Nepalis have a perception that we can't live without foreign money, that we can't control the Maoists without foreign arms. I have told them openly: don't threaten us. We will survive without your money. We will live without your guns. This country will live independently. I told them let's be friends let's cooperate to solve this problem and they said the parties and the king have to work together. No one disagrees with that. His Majesty agrees. Faced with terrorism, all those who love peace and democracy have to work together. Now, if the parties are not for peace and democracy then I have nothing to say.

We can't do anything against newspapers that write against us because of the constitution. Nowhere in the world can newspapers get away with what papers get away with here. One can sue the editor of Kantipur, a cartoonist or a publisher and if you win they may get two years behind bars but they can get out on bail and continue writing whatever they want. This constitution allows such things. How does one deal with this?

It is easy to blame the government for not fulfilling His Majesty's wishes. But how can it when politicised forces threaten strikes and pen downs? If we try to stop it they will go to the Supreme Court. Another problem. After all, the justices are also human beings they are also affected by what happens outside. Now I hear the Supreme Court wants to dissolve the RCCC.

The parties who swear by this constitution have made it meaningless by their own statements and by removing constitutional monarchy and opting for democratic republic. If they have cast aside the constitution, there is no reason why others should adhere to it. We are battling terrorism, we are fighting anarchy and we have to move ahead by circumventing constitutional provisions.


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


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