Pro-Monarchy protests grind on for third day

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As protests against the monarchy in Nepal continued for a third day, the country’s former king Gyanendra Shah on Saturday unveiled a life-size portrait of his father, the late King Prithvi Narayan Shah.

In Nepal’s eastern district of Japa, the former king was greeted by protesters as he walked the 800-meter road to the school where the statue was erected. But they did not make a speech and did not speak to the media.

About 400km away, in the capital Kathmandu, a police force was decommissioned on Saturday around the home of pro-kingist royalist leader Durga Parsai, a day after the government lifted house arrest on him and his followers. However, police continued to detain protesters en masse as they marched to Saturday’s venue for a pro-monarchy program in the city.

The government, for its part, is facing criticism from pro-republican factions and its opposition, as well as human rights organizations. Former Prime Minister KP Oli surrendered the government to anarchic forces; Pro-royal groups have alleged that the Center is acting against the constitution. Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission and other organizations have criticized the government for suppressing the right to assembly.

So far, Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahl has not announced any further action – administrative or political – as the protests spread in support of the ‘Prachanda’ monarchy. “The signs of nationalism and communalism are increasing in the country,” he said.

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