Gyanendra demands one more building inside palace premises

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Kathmandu, Jun 10 (UNI) A day after the government allowed step mother of former Nepal King Gyanendra, Ratna Shah and step grand mother Sarala Manandhar to use two buildings inside Narayanhiti Palace complex, the former king requested the government for yet another palace building - Trishul Sadan, media reports said here today.

Mr Gyanendra conveyed his request to the government through an emissary yesterday and this was confirmed by a cabinet member and also by a palace source, the Kathmandu post said.

Trishul Sadan is adjacent to Mahendra Manjil, the main residence of Ratna Shah. These buildings are about 100m west of the main building of Narayanhiti Palace.

''Trishul Sadan was used in the past by many members of the royal family including then Crown Prince Dipendra and his brother Nirajan, who were killed in the June 2001 massacre,'' it said quoting an official of the palace.

Similarly, the ex-royals yesterday demanded 175 -200 ropani of land as premises of the two buildings that will be used by Ratna and Sarala.

The Narayanhiti has an area of 754 ropani. In a controversial decision on Sunday, the government decided to allow Ratna and Sarala to stay in the two buildings inside Narayanhiti Palace.

''We took the decision to allow them to stay inside the palace on humanitarian grounds. We will give them only necessary land inside the palace for their use,'' Home Minister Krishna Sitaula.

The ousted monarch, yesterday conveyed to Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala through his emissary that he would hand over the crown and scepter only on the day he leaves the palace.

The former king was concerned about the security of the priceless crown and scepter, the paper said.

Meanwhile, the government committee has written a formal letter asking about the whereabouts of the jewel-studded 'tiara' used by former queen Komal.

The committee has also demanded that it should get access to the eastern part of the palace -- where Mr Gyanendra has been living - before he leaves. The committee has asked former staff of the palace to return the valuables they have been keeping.

Meanwhile, banned items have been found in Nagarjun palace, where the former king will be allowed to stay.

When the main building inside Nagarjun Palace premises, was opened to journalists yesterday, many banned items derived from endangered species came to their notice, the paper said.

''There were carpets of leopard and tiger skin in the bedrooms.

Similarly, the meeting hall, which lies on the ground floor of the two-storied building, contained the horns of rhinos, deer and wild buffalo,'' Kantipur reported.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and national laws ban the possession of rhino, deer and wild buffalo parts. Such possession is subject to punishment.

When asked what the government would do about the endangered fauna, Mr Sitaula said, "I will consult the forest minister and decide.'' UNI XC LPB GC1348

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