The royal massacre in the Narayanhiti Palace two decades ago is now a distant memory. The Durbar Massacre, which took place on this date in the year 2058, resulted in the annihilation of the then-King Birendra.
If Nepal’s monarchy had lasted, special activities honoring King Birendra would have been held by the government on this day. However, it appears that hardly one remembers him now that Nepal has become a republic. Furthermore, since that COVID has destabilized the situation in the country, this day is passed.
Monarch Birendra was known as a polite and gentle king during his 30-year reign as Nepal’s head of state. He was limited by constitutional constraints after the establishment of democracy in 2046 BS, and he always worked within the realm of his rights. He lacked his father Mahendra’s political savvy and leadership abilities. During his time in office, he did achieve some favorable results. The purpose of this article is to examine King Birendra’s contribution to diplomacy.
Birendra had studied world politics at Eton College in the United Kingdom, the University of Tokyo in Japan, and Harvard University in the United States. He became king as a result of his father Mahendra’s legacy of a non-party Panchayat, and a multi-party proclamation was made during his reign.
Birendra, who succeeded Mahendra after his death on January 31, 1972, reigned for two decades during the Panchayat period and one decade after the multi-party system was established. He governed directly for two decades before becoming a constitutional monarch in the last decade.
Let us now look at the four most significant diplomatic successes made during King Birendra’s reign:
The ‘Peace Zone Proposal’ has received support from 116 countries.
The ‘Peace Zone Proposal’ was a significant step taken by King Birendra to improve Nepal’s international image. At the Fourth Non-Aligned Movement Summit, held from September 5 to 9, 1973, he discussed the concept. On the 25th of January 1975, among the foreign delegates present during his coronation in Algiers, Algeria, Birendra presented a detailed proposal for a peace zone.
King Birendra appealed for support for the plan to proclaim Nepal a Zone of Peace while bidding farewell to the visitors during the coronation ceremony. He made the idea based on the fact that Nepal was the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, that it had peace agreements with the two neighboring countries, and that it had a non-aligned foreign policy in practice.
The idea for a peace zone in Nepal was endorsed by 116 countries, including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. India, a neighboring country, did not show any support. After India’s hesitancy, the Soviet Union (now Russia) backed down from its first offer of assistance. Obtaining the written backing of 116 countrie