Kathmandu, May 29, 2008: The royal flag which represented 240 years of monarchy in Nepal was finally removed from the Narayanhiti Palace, a day after the country was declared a republic. The royal flag was removed at around 8.30 a.m. this morning and the national flag was hoisted at the Palace. It is, however, not known who removed the flag. The security officials deployed at the royal palace, too, expressed ignorance over the flag' removal. The Nepal Government has announced a public holiday for three days, from May 28 to May 30, to celebrate the country becoming a republic.
The Constituent Assembly meeting on Wednesday had directed the government to remove the royal flag from the Narayanhiti Palace and also gave 15 days to the former king and his family to leave the palace, following which the palace would become national property and converted into a museum. A large number of people, including the press, gathered outside the main gate of the palace to observe the ceremony.
Meanwhile, Durbar Marg (King's Way) area was tense this morning following a baton-charge by the police on a group of people who tried to hoist the national flag on the main gate of the palace. Nepal was declared republic on Wednesday after the Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly voted for the Maoists.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) won the largest number of seats in the Constituent Assembly election held on April, 10, 2008, and formed a coalition government with some smaller parties. The Maoists had insisted on the abolition of the monarchy and the removal of Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev as King with Nepal becoming a federal democratic state with an elected head of state.
There was polling of Constituent Assembly members and out of a total of 564 Assembly members, 560 voted to end Nepal's monarchical rule. The proposal declared that Nepal had become an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular and an inclusive democratic republic.