Nepal. On June 1, King Birendra Bar Bikram Shah Deb,
Queen Aishwarya and eight other members of the royal family
were shot to death in Kathmandu Castle. The perpetrator was
appointed 29-year-old Crown Prince Dipendra. According to an
official investigation, in his drunken and drug-affected
condition, he must have mowed down his relatives with
automatic weapons following a family dispute about his
choice of wife. Then he must have shot himself, but he only
died after lying in a coma for three days. During his time
at the hospital, he was appointed king, while his uncle
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Deb took over as regent. At
Dipendra's death on June 4, Gyanendra was appointed king.
Countryaah, the massacre gave rise to a number of conspiracy
theories, but after a while the population began to accept
the official explanation. However, the Maoist guerrilla,
which has waged war against the state for six years, claimed
that foreign forces were behind the killings and stepped up
the fight against the "puppet regime". The government
responded with stricter security laws, such as strongly
restricted freedom of strike and demonstration. For the
first time, the regular army was deployed in the fight
against the Maoists.
In mid-July, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala
resigned as a result of the deteriorating security
situation. He was succeeded by Sher Bahadur Deuba, who in
just one day created a ceasefire. At the end of August,
peace negotiations began, which then went on in the autumn.
No concrete results were achieved, but both sides began to
release prisoners and the guerrillas indicated that it could
give up its basic demand that the monarchy be abolished. In
return, the government withdrew the new security laws.
In November, however, the guerrilla broke the ceasefire
under the pretext that the government had no honest
intentions with the negotiations. The state responded with a
strong counter-offensive by both the army and the airline
and guerrillas were reported to have suffered great losses.
An emergency permit was introduced throughout the country.
The new outbreak of war cost the state large sums, and more
than the equivalent of half a billion SEK was transferred
from development projects to military operations.