Nepal still a monarchy in Indian embassy website

By Sudeshna Sarkar, IANS,

Kathmandu : In an era when people are accessing the Internet to get the latest information, the Indian embassy in Nepal seems left behind. Having not updated their website for at least six years, it still calls the Himalayan republic a “parliamentary democracy with constitutional monarchy”.

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It apparently has not updated its website to keep at par with the swift changes that overtook the former Himalayan kingdom since 2001. The fact-file compiled by the embassy describes Nepal, which became a republic last year and formally abolished its 239-year-old monarchy in May 2008, as a constitutional monarchy.

The section on India-Nepal relations, which received a new dimension last month with Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda visiting New Delhi, however, lists the high level Task Force Meeting held in June, 2000 as the “recent bilateral contact”.

Also on the list is the state visit by king Birendra and queen Aishwarya. But that royal visit occurred in 1999 and two years later, both the king and queen were killed in a massacre in the royal palace.

The “What’s new” section is actually years old.

The last entry there dates back to July 2002, when India banned a Nepali NGO in India – the Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj – on the ground that it had become involved in “terrorist activities”.

“The Government of India is supporting Nepal’s fight against Maoist terrorist activities,” the entry added. “During the visit to India of Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Nepal, the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal had reiterated the determination of the two countries to work closely in fighting the scourge of terrorism which was adversely affecting peace and stability in the region and was also impeding socio-economic development.”

The entry was followed by the transcript of an interview by a nameless Indian charge d’affaires just before the visit of then king Gyanendra and queen Komal in June 2002. He said “the people of India and the government of India are very happy” over the visit and hoped it would “contribute to further cementing our friendly relations”.

“The fact that the visit of His Majesty to India is his first visit abroad after accession to the throne is significant,” the official went on to add. “We are happy that he has chosen to first visit India. His Majesty will have interactions with our senior leaders and the visit would increase goodwill between our two countries and strengthen our cooperation.”

Being a holiday, the Indian embassy was not immediately available for comment.