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Ex-king struggles with no electricity

ONCE worshipped as a divine incarnation, Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra says he is spending his days in darkness like many ordinary citizens because of the frequent power outages in his impoverished country.

Gyanendra, once the owner of several opulent palaces, has been living in a hunting lodge outside Kathmandu after a Maoist revolution forced the abolition of the 239-year-old monarchy and proclaimed Nepal a republic in 2008.
The government then took control of many of his palaces, allowing him to live in one of his tin-roofed hunting lodges.
In a televised interview, Gyanendra said he was facing up to 12 hours of power cuts a day.
“Justice has not been given to me,” a pensive-looking Gyanendra told Image television late on Tuesday, wearing a Nepali cloth cap and a loose shirt.
“I think there is room for the government of the day to give a thought to our plight as, well, as common citizens.”
He said he had not approached the courts yet to avoid embarrassment to the government.
The ex-king’s present fortunes are in stark contrast to his stature before the Maoist-led government came to power in 2008. Traditionally kings in Nepal were considered incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu and inheritors of great riches.
These priviledges were lost after Gyanendra assumed absolute powers in early 2005 saying he was acting to crush the then-raging anti-monarchy Maoist insurgency.
A year later, popular protests forced Gyanendra to hand power to a multi-party government. That government signed a peace deal with the Maoists, ending a decade-long civil war that caused more than 13 000 deaths. –– Reuters.

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