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Nepal's King Marks Birthday with Low-Key Celebrations


Nepal's King Gyanendra marked his 60th birthday Friday but without the major celebrations of past years.

A small group of King Gyanendra's supporters gathered at his Kathmandu palace to mark the occasion.

For the first time in years, government offices and schools stayed open, and cabinet members skipped the ceremony.

King Gyanendra's birthday was once considered a national holiday, but the new government has canceled public acknowledgment of his birthday and has taken away most of his powers.

Curtailing the king's powers was a key demand during pro-democracy protests earlier this year, which forced the monarch to give up absolute control of the government and reinstate parliament and multi-party democracy.

Since he reinstated parliament in April, the king has only appeared in public two times, at religious festivals.

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