KATHMANDU, Jan 12: President Bidya Bhandari, ministers, political party leaders, former heads of government, literary figures, artists as well as members of the general public observed Prithvi Jayanti on Friday.
President Bhandari put a garland at the statue of King Prithvi Narayan Shah in front of the western gate of Singha Durbar to mark the 297th birth anniversary of the unifier of modern Nepal.
The governments formed after the success of the April 2006 movement stopped observing Prithvi Jayanti as public holiday. However, some local units with pro-monarchy representatives had declared a public holiday on Friday.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) also organized a tea reception in Kathmandu to mark Prithvi Jayanti.
Speaking at a tea reception organized on the occasion, Kamal Thapa, leader of the pro-monarchy RPP praised the President Bhandari for paying respects to the unifier of modern Nepal.
“I am happy that the president has taken part in commemorating the role of late king Shah in building the nation,” he said, adding, “Even though the occasion was not declared a national holiday, the president taking part in its celebration, underlines its importance.”
He stressed that the occasion should be marked with more celebrations and the day should be declared as a national holiday from next year.
King Prithvi Narayan Shah, who was born on Paush 27, 1779 BS, in Gorkha, had unified dozens of small princely states into one strong country which later went on to become Nepal. Historians believe that Shah’s vision of Nepal remains equally relevant in the present context of Nepal.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister for Communications Gokul Prasad Baskota and former head of the Council of Ministers Khila Raj Regmi were among those who paid tribute to late king Shah by offering flowers to his statue in front of the western gate of Singha Durbar.