Nepal is virtually cut off from the rest of the world after King Gyanendra Tuesday dismissed the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and assumed all powers.
All flights to the capital, Kathmandu, have been diverted and communication links severely affected. Speaking on state media, the king said he will form a new government to rule for the next three years, but denied he had staged a coup.
The media later announced that a state of emergency had been enforced across the country, suspending all fundamental rights of citizens, including freedom of speech, press and expression. The king criticized the Deuba government for failing to hold parliamentary elections and to impose security in the face of the Maoist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives. The dismissed prime minister told reporters the move directly violates the constitution and is against democracy.
The king dismissed Prime Minister Deuba once before in October, 2002.