No historic documents found in palace

Kathmandu, June 18:

An investigation panel formed to come up with details of royal property and unearth historic documents kept at the Narayanhiti Palace said it found none of such documents.

A member of the panel said the former king did not return historic documents in possession of the palace.

The Archives Preservation Act 1989 states that the government offices shall transfer official documents that are at least 25 years old to the National Archives.

The official documents include hand-written manuscripts, books, reports, financial statements, treaties and agreements, newspapers and magazines, letters, deeds, drawings, photos, maps, plans, charts, files and case files.

But neither the ministers nor other government officials raised questions on the possession of such documents. As a result, documents of national importance have been either taken away by the former king or have been destroyed.

The committee member said no such documents of historic importance were found in the palace. "We asked in writing about the existence of historic documents, but there was no response from the palace," said the member.

He said the Nepali and foreign historians had made mention of Lal Baksa and other cases, which contained historical documents, but nothing was found. The panel member said a search should have been carried out right after the decision to depose the king.

The National Archives does not have copies of Nepal-India Sugauli Treaty, Nepal India Treaty of 1950 and other documents related with the changes of 1951, 1960 and 1990.

"We have plenty of religious, cultural and literary documents here, but do not have important documents related with great political changes," said Bhim Prasad Nepal, chief of the National Archives.

Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Jala Krishna Shrestha said no one is bothering to follow the Archives Preservation Act. "The present government will be held responsible if documents of historic importance are lost from the palace," he said.

Panel misses deadline:

KATHMANDU: The committee formed to collect details of property at the palace failed to submit its report on Wednesday. "We could not submit report today due to technical reasons," Dr Govinda Kusum, secretary at the Ministry of General Administration and convener of the committee, said. Kusum did not disclose anything about the property details at the palace. Source said the committee could not submit its report as it could not fix an appoint with PM Girija Prasad Koirala. —HNS