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