Tied up by chains of tradition : Thus spake Gyanendra Shah

Dear Nepalese brothers and sisters,

This country which came into being 240 years back as a garden of four castes and thirty-six sub castes as imagined and established by our ancestor His Majesty, the Great King Prithvi Narayan Shah, is going through a period of very serious and sensitive upheaval. It is well known that the Nepalese Monarchy which has always been activised for people’s prosperity and progress has always been working together and cooperating with the happiness and woes of Nepali people. Burning examples of that are unification, preservation of nationalism, democratisation and modernisation through the united effort of the king and national integrity as equivalent to the value of our lives. Our committed energised feelings towards these values and standards have remained constant from the past and are equally strong in the present and will remain so in the future.

I would like to inform everybody concerned that when seven years back because of an unnatural, unexpected and tragic incident while shouldering the responsibility of the Head of the State according to the national heritage and ages of old monarchical traditions, I had no other interests except considerations for the sovereignty, independence, national pride, territorial integrity, peace and the institutional development of democracy, and overall progress of all the citizens. In the then Hindu kingdom of Nepal, the birth place of Buddha the efforts started, with the best of intention trying to ensure the peace and prosperity in the country were not successful overtime, which I have already accepted earlier. The chain of events and ensuing results are obvious to everybody like an open book.

I would like to express, with God as my witness, certain things which I couldn’t express earlier because of my official responsibilities but which was troubling my inner heart all the time, through you dear journalist friends to my Nepalese brothers and sisters and the international community. May be we should call it destiny that when I was innocent child, I had neither any wish nor desire nor any possibility of having a distinct role except the compulsion to have to quietly accept the crown. Likewise, for the second time when an unimaginable and horrifying event took place on the night of Jestha 19th, 2058, I could not express through word my internal pain when I was compelled and tied up by the chains of tradition and duty without being even able to shed tears over the mortal remains of those respected and beloved family members and lighten the burden of pain at the gruesome destruction of my close relatives. Even at that time some people blamed and accused me and my family with great indiscretion and cruelty but we had no alternative but to tolerate that too, nor were there people who spoke on our behalf. Being prejudiced against me and my family members the efforts which were continuously started through different means by taking advantage of those circumstances and events, have been very painful to us and are still so. Other members of the Royal Family who were wounded but survived the incident in the Royal Palace are still alive. They are also witness to it. The bullet fragments which couldn’t be taken out for technical reasons are still in the body of my wife who was also wounded and survived. The detailed facts had also come out from the medical doctors involved in their treatment. The high level Royal Investigation Commission had already made public the detailed report about the incident. When all the Nepalese people and the Royal Family were overwhelmed with grief, at that time, to level accusations and blame in this way seems to be a strategy to damage the goodwill of the Nepalese people towards the institution of Monarchy and to spread ill will, which was also not compatible with human suffering.

Likewise, I have also heard false rumours about allegations that I have property abroad. All my property is in Nepal. I

have no movable or immovable property in foreign lands. The property which had

been bequeathed to me from my

ancestors, according to Nepalese laws is also not in my name and I have institutionalised it maintaining that property and have only conserved it. During the last seven years neither have I added any property nor have I taken any action by which the traditional property has been reduced. I have not also usurped the right to property of any member of the Royal Family. I believe that I would also have rights to maintain private property according to the prevalent laws of Nepal.

Respecting Constitutional Assembly elections and the decision taken by the

constituent assembly meeting on Jestha 15th, I am cooperating in every way towards the successful implementation of that decision.

I have also not thought of leaving the country. I would like to live in my own Motherland and contribute in whatever way possible to greater good of the country and peace in this land. I believe that there will be support for this from all sectors.

I pledge to be completely dedicated to the independence and territorial integrity of the nation of Nepal which was formed and has remained independent and sovereign because of the blood, sweat and sacrifice of the great ancestors of us Nepalese, wherever and whatever circumstances I may be in. I love the independence of this nation. My feelings and sentiments are that of sanctity, indivisibility and original values of this independent nation should always be preserved. My heartfelt good wishes are for the overall welfare of the self-respecting common Nepalese people.

Today, on this date, I have handed over the Crown and Sceptre used by the Kings of Shah dynasty and which has remained as heirloom in this dynasty to the Government of Nepal for safekeeping and protection for ages to come.

Finally, on behalf of my family members and myself, I would like to express my sorrow, if anybody has been inadvertently hurt by actions of my own or of the members of my family while I was working as head of State for the welfare of Nepal and the Nepalese. I would like to express gratitude to all citizens, constitutional organs, judicial sector, security organisations, civil servants, teachers, professors, students, farmers, labourers, industrialists, businessmen, intellectual youths, religious organisations, journalists, civil society, personnel working in the Royal Palace service and all others from different walks of life and all the other associated Nepalese inside and outside Nepal who extended their cooperation to me. I would also like to thank the friendly neighbouring countries who have always wished well for Nepal, the international community and representative of diplomatic corps. I would also like to thank the members of the Committees for Security and management recently deputed by the government of Nepal. I would like to thank the government of Nepal for all the help and cooperation extended to me. I also hope that like now, I would keep on getting the same level of necessary cooperation from the Government of Nepal in the future too.

May Lord Pashupatinath bless us all.

Jaya Nepal Date: June 11, 2008 (This is the full text of Gyanendra Shah’s speech)