Reports coming out of Nepal say that King Gyanendra has cancelled visits to New York to attend annual United Nations General Assembly. Today’s Kantipur, referring to highly placed sources at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, writes both internal and external pressures culminated in cancellation of trip. After three years in power, King Gyanendra finally seems to have felt the heat.
As King resorts to autocratic means on the back of extreme conservative elements in Nepal, he is alienating himself from almost every major political and economic actors in Nepal. Mainstream political parties, led by young leaders are openly championing the republican agenda. Recently, CPN (UML) went on the republican march and Nepali Congresss Party by muting its bylaws on the question of monarchy has shown that it no longer considers monarchy as an essential element in Nepal’s polity.
Further, the huge mass demonstrations led by leader of civil society have openly challenged the status-quo tilt of major mainstream parties and have successfully forced them to change their attitude in regards to monarchy. For people who think Nepali people don’t care much about King, watch the numbers of people floating on these civil mass demonstrations, often colored by political poems, arts, and cartoons.
Moreover, the Maoists overrunning of barracks in Kalikot and their recent unilateral ceasefire has completely drawn steam out of King’s wish to garner support by claiming that he has maintained peace since royal coup and that military solution is the only solution. It is clear that Royal Nepal Army alone cannot win this war and by not reciprocating ceasefire, it is clear that royal regime is least interested in peace process and wants to prolong its life through the war.
In these circumstances it was clear that major political allies like US, UK, and India would pressure him to declare ceasefire and start the peace process. King Gyanandera clearly wanted otherwise. Furthermore, government was utterly unsuccessful in making any major meetings between major power and King possible. After making Bangdung and Qatar conferences a major public relations victory, King must have hoped to achieve the same fete at much larger scale at the UN. But, ongoing pressures from all the sides made it impossible.