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US issues harsh rebuke to Nepal's King

US says demonstrations, deaths, arrests, and Maoist attacks in the past few days showed there was more insecurity, not less, since King Gyanendra took over.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 04:11 IST
UNI

The United States issued a sharp rebuke on Tuesday to Nepal's king for his handling of recent violent protests and said the decision to impose direct palace rule 14 months ago had failed "in every regard."

In a toughly worded statement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said demonstrations, deaths, arrests, and Maoist attacks in the past few days showed there was more insecurity, not less, since King Gyanendra took over.

"The king's continuing failure to bring the parties back into a process to restore democracy has compounded the problem," said McCormack.

"The United States calls upon the king to restore democracy immediately and to begin a dialogue with Nepal's constitutional political parties. It is time the king recognizes that this is the best way to deal with the Maoist insurgency and to return peace and prosperity to Nepal," he added.

The latest demonstrations in Nepal are the most intense since King Gyanendra sacked the government and took control of the impoverished nation 14 months ago.

Three protesters were killed by troops over the weekend, more than 100 have been wounded and 1,000 people detained, political parties said.

McCormack told reporters the State Department planned to speak directly to the king but had decided to release a public message to him in the mean time.

"We are certainly going to follow up this message with the king directly. The king and our ambassador at this point in time are not co-located in the same city," he said.