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King Gyanendra: Safeguard Democracy from Terrorism

Address From
His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev

At a Ceremony Organized by Tribhuvan University To Felicitate His Majesty

(May 27, 2005)

Vice-Chancellor,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives us pleasure to be in the midst of an esteemed gathering at this function organised by the Kingdom's premier university. This sanctuary of knowledge, producing the requisite competent manpower necessary to realise the objective of national development, will always remain venerated by all. We pay tribute to all those who have inculcated in the minds of the new generation our glorious history of having remained ever independent and our distinct characteristic of self-respect and contributed to preparing citizens appreciative of the past, sincere to the present and conscientious of the future.

We ourselves were educated at Tribhuvan University, established as a memorial to our august grandfather, the promulgator of democracy in the Kingdom. Today, we are reminded of the opportunity we, along with our classmates, received to broaden the horizons of our knowledge, familiarizing ourselves with the conditions and cultures of various districts. All of us students were friends and equal in the eyes of the teachers. Educational institutions were sacred centres of learning.

Notwithstanding the passage of time, the knowledge we Nepalese have about our glorious history has always been inspirational. The uniqueness of being Nepalese lies in our ability to resolve mutual differences and settle all kinds of problems by ourselves. It was due to this characteristic that we Nepalese were able to defend our independence, even during some of the most trying times in our history and like our forefathers, we are also determined to continue upholding this unbroken tradition of mutual understanding. We Nepalese are committed to the creation of a prosperous welfare society, with political culture inspired by democratic values, governance by the nation and people's welfare and individual conduct by patriotism.

It is common knowledge that, in keeping with the popular will as well as the nation's demands, we were compelled to take the decision on February 1 to safeguard democracy from terrorism, ensure that the democratic form of governance, stalled due to growing disturbances, was made effective and meaningful and assure a bright future for the country by salvaging her from the brink of disaster. This decision was taken in the interest of the nation, people and democracy and the understanding displayed by all those who have faith in democracy and love the motherland is appreciable indeed. It was because all the organs of the State were in unison with the general public, civil society and political workers that positive results could be achieved within three months and, as a natural consequence, municipal elections were declared. Necessary preparations have already been initiated to hold these elections and activate, in stages, all elected bodies which have suffered a setback during the past three years. We wish to see political parties becoming popular and effective, engaging in the exercise of a mature multiparty democracy dedicated to the welfare of the nation and people and to peace and good governance, in accordance with the people's aspirations.

In a democracy, the people's confidence cannot be gained by infringing upon the Constitution or by encouraging others to breach it. Nor will democracy grow by negating the supremacy of the judiciary. At a time when the nation is grappling with terrorism, the shared commitment and involvement of all political parties having faith in democracy is essential to give permanency to the gradually improving peace and security situation in the country.

Violence is not the means to reaching any agreement. The people yearn for a corruption-free, pro-people democratic form of governance. True democratic conduct envisages a political exercise totally devoted to being guided by the people's wishes in realising their aspirations. In keeping with the nation's aspirations, there must be a political commitment to uphold the dignity of the Motherland, be guided by Nepalese sentiments alone and refrain from misusing the national treasury maintained by taxpayers' money. We, therefore, call on all political parties having faith in democracy to commit themselves to safeguard democracy from terrorism, curb corruption and bring to an end misuse of public property. We also call on them to shoulder the responsibility of making all democratic institutions effective through free and fair elections. We have constantly held discussions with everyone in the interest of the nation, people and democracy and we will continue to do so in future also.

In this twenty-first century, it is clear that the future belongs to knowledge-based societies. With the proper utilization of our intelligence, we must dedicate ourselves to the welfare of humankind. Education must not only be timely and practical, but it must also be beneficial with respect to the opportunities provided by globalization. In the contemporary world, advancement in technology is the only road to prosperity. The multidimensional aspect of development must, therefore, lay emphasis on the development of information technology, along with the utilization of natural resources. Technology is the only vehicle of research and transformation. Aware of the challenges posed by globalisation, attention must be given to producing human resources, with the ability to fulfil the nation's development goals. But the prevailing inequality between urban and rural areas in education opportunities must be bridged. Discipline is an essential prerequisite for success. It would be in the interest of our nation to remember that only a disciplined society can remove all hurdles to reach the pinnacle of success.

Like the citizenry, students too have had to suffer the pain of violence, terrorism and abduction. Not only has their education suffered, but their development has also been hampered. Teachers must be sensitive to this fact and display empathy and understanding towards them. The teachers, who inculcate the youth with past experiences and contemporary ideas, must give due attention to the wishes of these representatives of the future.

We have taken note of the sentiments expressed in the Address of Felicitations. The intellectuals of our society must guide it, bearing in mind not only present day needs but also that of a future vision. The smaller nations must always remain alert in safeguarding their identity. A generation aware of Nepal's glorious past, conscious of her unique traditions and refined through the touchstone of collective national experience is best suited to build a content and secure future. We must, therefore, propagate, throughout the nation, knowledge and education which will ensure a bright future for the coming generation. We are confident that the academicians will contribute towards making the nation prosperous and capable by bringing forth such a generation.

Finally, we would like to thank the organizers of this function.

Jaya Nepal!

ENDS

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