Nepal Today

Monday, March 30, 2009

Former Crown Prince Paras says Dipendra opposed deal to purchase US M16 rifles (Excerpts from interview with Singapore newspaper) BREAKING NEWS

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 30 March: Then Crown Prince Dipendra killed his father King Birendra and other members of the family as he opposed a deal to purchase 50,000 US-manufactures M16 rifles.
Dipendra killed himself after mowing down his entire family on 1 June 2001 in a royal palace massacre.
Cousin and Crown Paras, son of ousted King Gyanendra, revealed this in an interview with Singapore newspaper.
“Nepal Army was looking for a new weapon to replace the Belgian SLR. Dipendra liked the German Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle, as opposed to the battle-tested Cold M16.
“But His Majesty [Birendra], did not agree over it. He wasn’t happy. He told me,” The Kathmandu Post reported quoting Paras in the Sunday edition of Singapore’s The New paper.
Paras currently lives in Singapore.
The German assault rifle has been short-listed by the army, which was in the market for 50,000 new guns.
“That, to me, was the real trigger. The deal would have probably been for about 50,000 rifles, which at US $300 a piece, would work out to about US$ 15 million,” Paras said
Nepal Army finally purchased US rifles in the first Bush administration.
Bush told them visiting Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to ‘search, find and kill Maoists” as Washington trained a rangers battalion.
But Bush stopped all military aid to Nepal in his second term after the royal takeover; Maoists ultimately were elected to power.
Left-wing government in Belgium cancelled a deal to supply rifles to Royal Nepal Army after King Gyanendra imposed royal rule.
“The palace was a hotbed of contending interests.
“Dipendra was never the same after his father told him in 1990 [when panchayat was overthrown] about a plans to give up monarchy. He never agreed with that as he wanted to rule the country. I think he started planning his moves then.
‘I remember it clearly. It was his birthday in 2000 and he told all of us that he would bring down the ‘ivory tower’. But we [younger royals] didn’t take him seriously. How could we?
“This was the crown prince talking. He was going to be our king. And who would believe that he would kill his own father.”
Paras said Dipendra gunned down his father.
The Maoist-led government has said it will investigate the palace massacre.
Prime Minister Prachanda said unconvincingly King Birendra was a popular king even as the party pushed monarchy.
Maoists first blamed India for Birendra’s massacre.
Published reports have said Maoists are trying to place blame on Gyanendra for his brother’s murder.
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Supreme court again postpones hearing on reinstatement of brigadiers

Kathmandu, 30 March: A two-man bench of the supreme court Monday again postponed a hearing on a government appeal to reconsider an earlier apex decision to reinstate eight Nepal Army brigadier generals.
A decision was postponed Sunday as well.
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