Britain today called for the "immediate" reinstatement of democratic institutions in Nepal after its king sacked the government and declared a state of emergency.
It was the second time in three years that King Gyanendra has taken control of the tiny constitutional monarchy, a throwback to the era of absolute power enjoyed by Nepal's monarchs before King Birendra, Gyanendra's elder brother, introduced democracy in 1990.
King Gyanendra denied his takeover was a coup, although soldiers surrounded the houses of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other government leaders.
Telephone and internet lines were snapped and flights diverted.
The king also suspended several provisions of the constitution, including the freedoms of press, speech and expression, the freedom to assemble peacefully, the right to privacy, and the right against preventive detention.
In London, Foreign Office Minister Douglas Alexander summoned the Nepalese ambassador (Prabal Rana) to convey the British Government’s “grave concerns” about the developments.
Speaking after their meeting, Mr Alexander said: “I am extremely concerned to hear of the King of Nepal’s dismissal of his Prime Minister this morning.
“This action will increase the risk of instability in Nepal, undermining the institutions of democracy and constitutional monarchy in the country.
“We call for the immediate restitution of multi-party democracy, and appeal for calm and restraint on all sides during this difficult time. In the meantime, the British Government will have to assess the impact of this move on our security and developmental assistance.
BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- China respects the choice of Nepalese in developing their own country and sincerely wishes the nation to realize social security, economic development and ethnic pacification, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a regular press conference here Tuesday.
He made this remark when asked to comment on Nepal's King Gyanendra's Tuesday announcement of dissolving the coalition government led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and forming a new government under his own "chairmanship".
Calling this decision "an internal affair of Nepal," Kong said that China will respect Nepalese people's option on how to develop their own country.