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Nepal PM Koirala has a quiet birthday
Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu | July 02, 2007 21:06 IST
Nepal's Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Monday quietly celebrated turning 84 years by having a private meal with his only daughter at his residence in Kathmandu, without even cutting a traditional birthday cake.
The occasion passed unnoticed by many as there were no grand celebrations, with the prime minister receiving gifts from party workers and well-wishers at his Baluwatar home and not venturing out, sources close to his family said.
Earlier in the morning, the PM's daughter Sujata presented a small perfume and an idol of Ganesh to her father and the two held a simple worshiping service to mark the happy occasion.
"Nothing big happened. We just worshipped God in the morning and had a feast together. I offered him small gifts, that's all," Sujata told PTI over phone.
Koirala did not go to the office today and did not step outside his residence.
He, however, received flowers and prasad from Pashupatinath temple offered by priests, they said.
Though Koirala's birthday is on July 4, he celebrated the occasion today as per the Hindu calendar.
My father doesn't want to celebrate his birthday. We have arranged simple rituals on the occasion, and his well-wishers visited him with flower bouquet to extend best wishes, Sujata said.
The prime minister received flower bouquets from party cadres and student activists at his residence.
Ministers and Parliament members belonging to the Nepali Congress visited Baluwatar to wish him good health and happiness on the occasion, sources said.
Meanwhile, the Royal Palace is gearing up to celebrate the 60th birthday of King Gyanendra from July 7 by organising a three-day extravaganza with rituals and two grand parties at Narayanhity palace.
There will be two grand parties at the Narayanhity Royal Palace, one to be hosted by Queen Komal on Friday and the other being hosted by Crown Prince Paras on Sunday, where altogether 1,800 guests are being invited, sources said.
However, there is no official ceremony this time and the government last year scrapped a public holiday to mark the occasion.
The palace gates will remain open on Saturday for well-wishers to greet the King, palace sources said.
None of Gyanendra's ancestors had the opportunity to celebrate a diamond jubilee birthday.
King Gyanendra is the only monarch in the 239-year-old Shah dynasty, after Prithvi Narayan Shah conquered Kathmandu and unified Nepal, who has lived up to 60 years.
The King relinquished power in April 2006 after intensified agitation, after which he was stripped of his title as the army's supreme commander-in-chief.