THT 10 YEARS AGO: The K kick: King’s palaces to be nationalised

Kathmandu, August 23, 2007

In a historic move, the government today decided to nationalise seven palaces, including the Narayanhiti Royal Palace, held by the king Gyanandra.

The cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Baluwatar decided to nationalise the Narayanhiti Royal Palace, where the king lives , the Hanumandhoka Palace, the Lalitpur Palace, the Bhaktapur Palace, Gorakha Palace, Lamjung Palace and Nuwakot Palace along with a total of 1,533 ropanies of land the palaces occupy. They all had remained as private property of the king. Three of them figure in the UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites.

This is the first time in Nepal’s history that the government has decided to nationalise the property and the palaces occupied by the king. Earlier, palaces built and occupied by the Rana rulers were nationalised by the governments after the toppling of the Rana regime in 1950.

Emerging from the cabinet meeting, government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communication Krishna Bahadur Mahara told media persons that the cabinet meeting approved a report of a minister-level committee and decided to nationalise them. Mahara said that the government would utilise the Narayanhiti Royal Palace while the six others which are of historical and archaeological importance would be handled and managed by the Department of Archaeology.

UNMIN tables seven arms treaty violation cases

Kathmandu, August 23, 2007

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) today presented seven cases of violation of the November 28 Agreement on the Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies at a meeting of the Joint Monitoring Coordination Committee (JMCC) headed by the UN chief arms monitor General Jan Erik Wilhelmsen.

“We discussed the cases of the violation of arms management treaty presented by the UNMIN,” said an official at the JMCC. According to him, the Joint Monitoring Team (JMT) investigates such cases and the UNMIN presents them for discussion at the JMCC meeting.

He cited examples of such cases like “seizing of police’s weapons in Nuwakot by the Maoists, and the killing of a person in a misfire by a Nepali Army soldier.”

Meanwhile, the UNMIN will complete the second stage of verification of the Maoist combatants in Sindhuli cantonment tomorrow. The UNMIN team would, then, start verification in the Surkhet cantonment on August 29.

The CPN-Maoist has accepted the result of the re-verification of a limited number of combatants in Chula Chuli cantonment in Ilam. Maoist Commander Nanda Kishor Pun termed the re-verification result as ‘satisfactory and acceptable’.