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It's punch time for Nepal Prince!

With the Parliament axing powers of Nepal King, the prince is now looking for other career options.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 20:03 IST

With Nepal's Parliament axing the powers and perks of King Gyanendra and his family members, will controversial Crown Prince Paras now be looking at boxing as a career?

That is what a prominent Maoist leader suggests when she says that Paras, whose chances of succeeding his father are no longer certain, has the potential to be an international boxing champ.

Hisila Yami, wife of Dr Baburam Bhattarai, one of the top leaders of the Maoist movement in Nepal and a senior leader of the underground party herself, said in an interview that she felt sorry for the crown prince.

"... I feel really sorry for Paras," Yami, aka Parvati, said during the interview with foreign journalist Doualy Xaykaothao, excerpts from which were published in Nepali Times on Friday.

"Had he not been a prince, he would have been one of the best boxers in the world. All his aggressiveness would have been released."

Yami said King Gyanendra was a "prisoner of his own system".

"The people have been empowered - they can't accept a biological leader any more... I feel sorry for the king and his son who don't understand that they're living in the 21st century."

The interview appeared a day after Nepal's parliament unanimously approved a series of radical changes that signalled the end of monarchy and the privileges and powers of the royal family.

If made to earn their own living, Nepal's royal family would be put in a very tight spot indeed. Neither Paras nor his sister Princess Prerana nor wife Crown Princess Himani has a college degree.

Besides a fondness for football, fast cars, frequenting nightclubs, golf and letting fly with his fists, the crown prince is not known to have any other talent.

When Gyanendra was not king and Paras not crown prince, hundreds of civil society members petitioned then king Birendra to take action against Paras, already notorious for the death of a popular singer in a road smash and a string of other misdemeanours.

Now with parliament having revoked the legal immunity the royal family members used to enjoy, the old cases involving Paras could be reopened.

The Maoists are already demanding a fresh investigation into the mysterious shootout in the Narayanhity royal palace in 2001 in which Birendra, his son and heir Dipendra, Queen Aishwarya, and their two other children as well as five other members died.

From being the only Hindu kingdom in the world, Nepal has now become a secular country.

The government is no longer His Majesty's Government but the Nepal Government and the army the Nepal Army instead of the earlier Royal Nepalese Army.

The House of Representatives, the powerful lower house of parliament that was reinstated in April after four years following a nationwide revolt against the king's rule, will now choose the king's successor by making, amending or annulling existing laws.

The king and his family will have to pay tax for the first time in the 237-year-old history of his dynasty.

They will also face prosecution if they commit unlawful activities, also for the first time.

The house will fix the king's allowances, increased substantially by Gyanendra since 2002.

First Published: May 19, 2006 14:33 IST