• Short Summary

    In Nepal, King Birenda has announced he will set up a special commission to organise a referendum aimed at bringing back multi-party politics.

  • Description

    GV Katmandu Valley as seen from high point in Katmandu city.

    GV King's Palace with street traffic in foreground.

    SV Police with batons on duty at street corner.

    GV Bank on Nepal: glass windows at front smashed. (2 SHOTS)

    GV Tribhuvan University campus: students walking across open ground on way to classroom. (3 SHOTS)

    CU Former Premier B.P. Koirala speaking in English.

    GV Katmandu street with police on duty. (2 SHOTS)

    GV Residence of Prime Minister K.N. Bista with guards outside. (2 SHOTS)

    CU Mr. Bista speaking in English. (3 SHOTS)

    KOIRALA: "The violence was due to the fact that there is terrible resentment against the present system. The resentment was not er..nobody was satisfied. The people from every segment of society were dissatisfied, the peasants, the levellers, the students, the teachers, everybody was dissatisfied. So it was a pent-up feeling that expressed itself in violence. So by taking that step that the King had taken, by calling the referendum the King has defused the crisis and I think it will prevent the er...er...continuation of violence."

    BISTA: "The system has been working very effectively for the good of the people, and we are confident that when the referendum will take place certainly the verdict of the people will be on out side. And the people are quite happy with the system. There has been more stability, more order, when the system was introduced. Therefore I do not see any reason as to why it should fail to deliver goods to the people."

    REPORTER: "What will be the role of monarchy in a multi-party system if the people opt for it in the referendum?"

    BISTA: "Nobody disputes whether it is the workers in the Panchayat system, or those people who really want a multi-party system. All of us have been saying that the King plays a very vital role in the development of the country. And it is under the King's leadership that this country can remain united forever, and deliver goods to the people."

    Initials JS/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Nepal, King Birenda has announced he will set up a special commission to organise a referendum aimed at bringing back multi-party politics. The King's statement, broadcast on state radio, came on Thursday (24 May), the day after violent clashes in the centre of Katmandu between police and thousands of protesters demanding political reform and an end to the one-party Panchayat system. Reuters news agency quoted unconfirmed reports as saying that seven people were killed and hundreds injured as demonstrators set fire to buildings and smashed shop windows. Police fired tear gas and made baton charges to curb the protesters, many of whom were students clamouring for political reform. Student unrest spurred a number of disturbances in the past month, in which a total of 17 people were killed.

    SYNOPSIS: Katmandu is the capital of this tiny land-locked kingdom in the Himalayas. No further incidents were reported after the disruption of May the twenty-third.

    Following the riots, police had been ordered to open fire on looters and arsonists. The violence hits hard at Nepal's tourism, a major currency earner.

    The present monarch's father, King Mahendra, banned political parties and put the Press under government control when he abolished the Western-style parliamentary system in December 1960. He arrested the then-Prime Minister, B.P. Koirala , who sums up the latest events.

    Following King Birenda's decision, the Prime Minister, Mr. Bista resigned. This has been welcomed by many people, Mr. Bista however, remains convinced that one-party government is best and that they will vote??? for it in the coming referendum.

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