Protests fail to deter Nepal king

Discredited monarch is celebrating 60th birthday despite protests and clashes.

    The Nepal monarch faces an
    uncertain future [AFP]

    The palace press office said 15,000 people paid their respects to the king, but reporters who watched visitors enter the palace estimated that there were no more than 2,000.

    It was in sharp contrast to the tens of thousands who used to offer the king birthday greetings before he sacked the government and assumed total power in 2005.

    Nepalese government officials said they would also avoid the event after dozens of supporters and opponents of the king clashed on Saturday.

    Nine people, including two police officers, were injured in Durbar Square, south of the palace.

    The monarchy faces abolition after Maoist rebels ended their decade-long "people's war" and joined the government this year.

    The new government stripped Gyanendra of almost all his powers including control over the army and taxed his property and income.

    Student and youth groups affiliated with the government held protests on Saturday.

    "We may call for more protests on Sunday," said Ganesh Man Pun, the chairman of the Maoist-linked Young Communist League.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.