MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 17) - An estimated 8,000 people demonstrated in the Nepal capital of Kathmandu, against the rule of King Gyanendra.

The supporters of five political parties chanted slogans denouncing King Gyanendra as "undemocratic and regressive."

The king triggered a crisis in October last year, when he dismissed the elected government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba for alleged incompetence in tackling the nation's problems, including a Maoist insurgency.

Nepal's main parties want the king to either call fresh elections or reinstate the dissolved parliament.

Tuesday's protests coincide with the anniversary of the dissolution of Nepal's first parliamentary system in 1960 by King Gyanendra's late father King Mahendra, who started 30 of absolute royal rule.

December 17, 2003

Radio Australia:


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