AP

Thousands rally in Nepal to seek restoration of monarchy

Jan 10, 2023, 12:07 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 3:01 am

People participate in a rally to mark the birth anniversary of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who start...

People participate in a rally to mark the birth anniversary of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who started the Shah dynasty in the 18th century, in Katmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former royal family held a rally Wednesday demanding the restoration of monarchy in the Himalayan nation. The last Shah king, Gyanendra, was forced to step down and the monarchy abolished in 2008, making Nepal a republic. (AP Photo/Bikram Rai)

(AP Photo/Bikram Rai)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Thousands of supporters of Nepal’s former royal family held a rally Wednesday demanding the restoration of monarchy in the Himalayan nation.

They gathered around the statue of King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who started the Shah dynasty in the 18th century. The last Shah king — Gyanendra — was forced to step down and the monarchy abolished in 2008, making Nepal a republic.

There are still many supporters who seek to bring the monarchy back and rally every year on the birth anniversary of Prithvi Narayan. Some previous rallies have turned violent with clashes between demonstrators and police.

Wednesday’s rally was peaceful and police in riot gear kept a close watch on the event that included participants waving flags, playing music and chanting slogans to praise the monarchy.

Nepal’s new government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal declared Wednesday a public holiday to mark Prithvi Narayan’s birthday. Dahal led Maoist communist rebels between 1996-2006 seeking to abolish the monarchy in Nepal.

Gyanendra became the king after his elder brighter was assassinated in a palace massacre in 2001 but remained unpopular. Political parties teamed up with the Maoist insurgents to organize protests forcing him to give up power in 2006. Two years later, Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy. Gyanendra, 75, remains a common citizen and is not politically active.

The protesters welcomed the government’s declaration of a public holiday and allowing them to hold the rally.

“The monarchy needs to return to Nepal. We are seeking a ceremonial king and we are fine with an executive prime minister but need a ceremonial king,” said Ram Prasad Upreti, a retired medical doctor.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The headquarters of Live Nation is shown June 29, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. The Jus...

Associated Press

Government sues Ticketmaster owner and asks court to break up company’s monopoly on live events

The DOJ has accused Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America.

2 days ago

Image: Ambulances are seen at the airport where a London-Singapore flight that encountered severe t...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Man dies after turbulence; Iran funerals; Israel media law

A Singapore Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and descended 6,000 feet in a span of about three minutes.

4 days ago

Image: Bruce Nordstrom, left, and Jeannie Nordstrom attend the Nordstrom NYC Flagship Opening Party...

Associated Press

Bruce Nordstrom, who helped grow family-led department store chain, dies at 90

Bruce Nordstrom, a retail executive who helped expand his family's Pacific Northwest chain into an upscale national brand, has died.

5 days ago

Image:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime min...

Associated Press

World news roundup: Netanyahu arrest warrant; Assange can appeal; UK blood scandal

The International Criminal Court said it is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Benjamin Netanyahu.

5 days ago

Image: In this photo released by the Iranian Presidency Office, President Ebrahim Raisi attends a m...

Associated Press

Iran president and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash Monday.

5 days ago

Photo: Shawna Williams, owner of Free Range Cycles, poses outside her shop on May 6, 2024, in Seatt...

Mae Anderson, The Associated Press

Bike shops boomed early in the pandemic. It’s been a bumpy ride for most ever since

For the nation's bicycle shops, the past few years have probably felt like the business version of the Tour de France, with numerous twists and turns testing their endurance.

6 days ago

Thousands rally in Nepal to seek restoration of monarchy