Govt honours five-time PM with state funeral

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KATHMANDU, APR 18 – The last rites of former Prime Minister and Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Surya Bahadur Thapa was performed with full state honours at Pashupati Aryaghat in Kathmandu on Friday.

Thapa’s son Sunil, also the minister for commerce and supplies, lit his father’s funeral pyre. The ceremony was attended by the friends, relatives and supporters of Thapa. Prominent political figures, including Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang, Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, and former prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal

and Lokendra Bahadur Chand were also in attendance. Thapa died aged 88 in course of treatment at Medanta Hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday night. He had undergone a “successful” gastrectomy surgery at the hospital on Friday.

On Wednesday afternoon, Thapa was put in intensive care unit on a ventilator after complaints of respiratory problems . He died that following night at around 10:45pm.

Thapa’s body was flown from New Dehli and kept at his Maligaun-based residence on Thursday. The body was taken to the Dasharath Stadium for the general public to pay their tribute on Friday. Vice-President Paramananda Jha, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, RPP-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa, former chiefs of Nepal Army and Nepali Police, senior government officials, and heads of the diplomatic missions paid their tribute to the late leader. Prime Minister Koirala draped the national flag on Thapa’s body Earlier in the day, Thapa’s body was kept at his party office in Chabahil where the party leaders, including Pashupati Shumsher Rana, and members paid their tribute.

Thapa’s funeral procession passed through Ratna Park, Jamal, Kamal Pokhari, and Gyaneshwor before reaching the Pashupati Aryaghat.

The government had announced a public holiday on Friday in honour of Thapa, who was also the eldest member of the CA. Similarly, the national flags were flown at half mast across the country and in Nepali missions abroad.

Thapa had served as the country’s prime minister for five times–thrice during the Panchayat regime and twice after the establishment of the democracy.