Nepal`s dethroned king Gyanendra gets first passport

Last Updated: Saturday, November 21, 2009 - 14:45

Kathmandu: Nepal`s deposed king Gyanendra
has for the first time acquired a passport in his name at the
age of 64, more than a year after he became a commoner, a
Foreign Ministry official said.

The government issued the passport to Gyanendra Shah,
who vacated the royal palace in June 2008, two weeks after the
601-member Constituent Assembly abolished the monarchy.

"We issue diplomatic passports to all former heads of
state and heads of government. So it was normal to issue the
former king with a diplomatic passport," said a Foreign
Ministry`s official.

According to sources, the ministry "received a formal
request" recently from the former monarch for the diplomatic
document.

Earlier, Gyanendra had no use for the documents during
his official visits. His only travel after leaving the royal
palace last June was to travel on a personal visit to India,
which has an open border with Nepal. According his close
aides, Gyanendra is expected to visit India probably next
month.

Mass protests against Gyanendra that began in April
2006 finally culminated in the abolition of the monarchy soon
after the CPN-Maoist emerged as the largest party in the
constitutional assembly polls last year. Many ordinary
Nepalese were delighted to see the back of the dour, unpopular
king as well as his son Paras.

Gyanendra has been at the centre of many conspiracy
theories, including the 2001 palace massacre that killed
his popular older brother Birendra along with most of the
royal family by the then crown prince Dipendra, who was
allegedly fuelled by a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 21, 2009 - 14:45

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