Nepal nationalises king's palaces

Nepal's government nationalised on Thursday seven palaces owned by King Gyanendra as a first step in seizing all of his royal property, a minister said.

Nepal nationalises king's palaces
Nepal's government nationalised on Thursday seven palaces owned by King Gyanendra as a first step in seizing all of his royal property, a minister said.

The blow was the latest for the monarch who has been already stripped of most of his powers, including his position as head of state and army chief, in the wake of an historic peace pact with rebel Maoists and political parties.

"The cabinet meeting decided to nationalise seven palaces being used by the king. The process of registering those palaces under the name of the government of Nepal will proceed soon," culture minister Prithvi Subba Gurung told AFP.

But Gyanendra -- viewed by supporters as the living incarnation of a Hindu deity -- will be allowed to keep those properties that he owned before ascending the throne in 2001, Gurung said.

He took the throne after the massacre of his brother and most of the royal family by a drunken crown prince who later killed himself.

The nationalised palaces include the sprawling Narayahiti Royal Palace in the heart of Kathmandu where the monarch and his family live.

The fiercely republican Maoists ended a bitter civil war with a peace deal in November 2006 that saw them emerge from the hills and enter government to challenge royal privilege, including the king's control of the army.

The fate of the 238-year-old royal Shah dynasty is be decided in November in elections to vote for a body to rewrite Nepal's constitution.

AFP
Last Mod: 24 Ağustos 2007, 10:19
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