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Nepal Timeline -- 1768-1999


Gurkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah conquers Kathmandu and lays the foundation for a unified kingdom.


Rana rule established. Jang Bahadur Kunwar becomes absolute dictator.



June 4

Praja Parishad, the first political party of Nepal, is established.



July 26

The government comes down heavily on the activities of underground politics and anti Rana-activists.

October 18

Rana administration succeeds in arresting all the members of the Praja Parishad.



January 5

Nepali Congress Party is founded.



January 15

The All India Nepali National Congress, formed in exile to promote the cause of anti-Rana protest, decides to hold a conference to formulate its objectives and programmes.

March 4

Mill workers in Nepal go on the first organised strike in the country.

March 24

G.P.Koirala and M.P.Koirala are arrested for their activities against Rana rule and sent to Kathmandu.

Civil Disobedience movement against the Rana government starts under the auspices of Nepali Rashtriya Congress.

May 6

Students in Kathmandu organise a big march to end the Rana regime.

May 16

King Tribhuvan delivers a speech outlining important reforms, including the establishment of an independent judiciary.



January 26

Prime Minister Padma Shamsher Rana proclaims Nepals’ first Constitution.

Padma Shamsher is replaced by Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana.


Nepali Communist Party is formed in exile. Sets for itself the objective of achieving people’s sovereignty and establishing a responsible government.



March 11

Nepali Congress launches armed insurrection against Rana rule.

November 6

King Thribhuvan flees to India under the pretext of going for hunting.

November 11

Armed attacks by 300 members of the Nepali Congress Party's armed-wing, the Mukti Sena (Liberation Army) begin in the Terai region, initiating revolution in Nepal.

December 24

Negotiations between the Indian government and the Ranas begin.



January 6

Palpa slips out of government control.

January 8

Mohan Shamsher promises to restore power to King Tribhuvan, grant amnesty to all political prisoners and hold elections based on adult suffrage, no later than 1952.

January 9-10

Rebel takes over in Pokhara for a day and occupy Gorkha, too.

January 14

Under Indian mediation, Nepali Congress announces end of revolution

January 16

The King formally agrees for a cease-fire.

February 18

Rana system is abolished. Democratic experiment inaugurated with the appointment of an interim government under Prime Minister Mohan Shamsher.

March 30

Interim Government of Nepal Act is proclaimed which serves as the interim Constitution. It contains a provision to hold general elections for a Constituent Assembly within two years.

November 16

After the mass resignations of Nepali Congress Party Ministers, the new government appointed by the King excludes for good the conservative Rana power bloc. A Royal proclamation establishes a new government led by Matrika Prasad Koirala, the half-brother of B. P. Koirala, who had headed the Nepali Congress Party during the revolutionary struggle.



August 10

M.P. Koirala resign owing to personal rivalries in the Cabinet




A new ministry is formed under M.P. Koirala.



January 31

Internal dissension with in the Cabinet force Koirala to resign from Premiership.

March 14

King Tribhuvan passes away and is succeeded by his son Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev.



December 6

The second conclave of all political parties is held against the background of the King’s decision to delay elections. India’s Ambassador to Nepal, Bhagwan Sahai plays an important role through his mediation in the pro-democracy developments.



February 12

King Mahendra proclaims the 1959 Constitution of the Kingdom providing for a bicameral legislature. But the King retains strong executive, legislative and judicial powers.

February 18

First general elections to the House of Representatives held. The Nepali Congress wins an absolute majority and B. P. Koirala becomes Nepal's first elected Prime Minister.



December 15

King Mahendra launches the partyless Panchayat system in which he exercises absolute power through village, district and national councils. Political parties and organizations are outlawed.



December 26

King Mahendra appoints a Council of five Ministers to help run the administration.



December 16

Constitution of Nepal is proclaimed, providing for a non-party system of councils known as "Panchayat" under which King exercised sole power.



May 15

The exiled leadership of Nepali congress decides to co-operate with King Mahendra, as their violent armed struggle against the regime, weakened by desertions, proved a failure.


A resolution passed unanimously by the government asserts that Panchayat democracy has no alternative in Nepal.



January 31

King Mahendra passes away at the age of 51. Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev succeeds to the throne at the death of his father, King Mahendra.



December 12

Through the Panchayat Constitution Second amendment, King makes changes in the Panchayat system and increases its rigidity. The changes include the establishment of five development regions to promote planning, increase in the strength of the membership of the National Panchayat from 90 to 134 persons, of whom 20 per cent would be his nominees.



May 24

King Birendra announces that there would be a national referendum in the near future, at which people could decide to support or reject the Panchayat system of governance.



May 2

National referendum is held. About 55 per cent vote for the continuation of the reformed partyless Panchayat system and against a return to a multiparty system.

May 21

King appoints 11-member Constitution Reforms Commission to be chaired by the acting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

December 15

Third amendment to the Panchayat Constitution is made providing for direct general elections to the National Panchayat; the Prime Minister is made responsible to Parliament.



May 1 to 8

The Nepali Congress led by B P Koirala observes an "election boycott week".

Left extremists groups consisting of Marxist-Leninists, Gharti faction and Communists of Bishnu Bahadur Manandhar group decides to boycott the polls whereas the pro-Moscow group led by Kesharjang Rayamajhi decides to participate in them.

May 9

First direct elections to the National Panchayat held.



July 21

Nepali Congress leader B.P.Koirala passes away.


Mohan Bikram Singh, a prominent Communist leader, breaks away from the Communist movement and forms Masal, a different outfit.



May 12

Second direct elections to the National Panchayat conducted at which several members of the outlawed parties are elected.


The Nepali Congress together with the United Left Front launches people’s awareness programme against the regime and to install democracy.

Failure to renegotiate trade and transit with India disrupts economy.

November 15

Tek Nath Rizal, leader of the Nepali refugee community ousted from Bhutan, along with Jogen Gazmere and Sushil Pokhrel, arrested in Nepal and handed over to Bhutanese authorities.



January 16

Seven Left parties form a Union, which declares as the foremost need of the country, the abolition of Panchayat system and establishment of multiparty democracy.

January 18

Nepali Congress decides to launch nation wide movement for democracy.

February 18

15,000 people hold a demonstration in favour of democracy.

March 6

The government of Marich Man Singh is dismissed and Lokendra Bahadur Chand appointed Prime Minister.

April 6

The day after King Birendra reorganized the Krishna Prsad Bhatttarai government and agreed to institute Constitutional reforms a crowd of as many as 200,000-strong gathers in Kathmandu in protest. The Army fires on the crowd as it approached the palace, killing at least 25 protesters.

April 8

A Royal proclamation puts an end to party-less rule and heralds the birth of multiparty, parliamentary system of government under Constitutional monarchy.

April 14

An effective lightning strike is conducted by pro-democracy pilots which brings air traffic in Nepal to a stand still.

April 16

Panchayat System is dissolved.

April 19

A new coalition government of Nepali Congress and Unite Left Front sworn-in under the leadership of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai.

November 9

Proclamation of the 1990 Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal is made which allowed for direct elections to a bicameral House.



May 12

Nepali Congress wins absolute majority in the first general elections held after the democracy movement attained success resulting in the institution of multiparty democracy. Girija Prasad Koirala elected Prime Minister.

United Front of Nepal emerges from the Unity Centre of Action, a group formed by various small Communist factions, and contests the this first Parliamentary elections.


Nepali Congress wins a majority of seats in the elections conducted to local bodies.


Madan Bhandari, a veteran Communist leader, is killed in a mysterious car accident.

July 18

Governments of Bhutan and Nepal announce the intention to form a joint committee to seek a solution to the problem of people in refugee camps in eastern Nepal.


Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is born with a split in the political wing of Nepal’s radical left parties, the Samyukta Jana Morcha Nepal (SJMN) or United People’s Front Nepal.



October 7

Joint-Ministerial-level Meeting of both Nepal and Bhutan agrees to categorise the refugees into four groups.

November 15

First-ever Communist government assumes power in Nepal at the mid-term polls held following the dissolution of Parliament at the recommendation made by the Girija Prasad Koirala government.

The Communist Party of Nepal––United-Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) secures a relative majority of seats and forms a minority government with Man Mohan Adhikari as Prime Minister.

December 14

Moves against the Communist government gather momentum under the leadership of G. P. Koirala.



July 1

Following a meeting between the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (People's War Group) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) the decision to wage people's war is supposedly taken. Dr.Babu Ram Bhattarai and Pushpa Kamal Dahal, two prominent Nepalese Maoist leaders, play a significant part in this development.

August 28

Supreme Court rules as unconstitutional Prime Minister Man Mohan Adhikari's June -recommendation to dissolve Parliament and convene general elections. This decision is contrary to the 1994-ruling of the Court on a similar decision announced by the same Court.

September 12

Communist government is replaced with a centralist-right coalition government under Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Nepali Congress.



February 13

Maoists make formal declaration of "People's War".



March 10

Sher Bahadur Deuba loses vote of confidence in Parliament. New coalition government under Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand, National Democratic Party (NDP), comes to power.

April 9

Dr. Prakash Chandra Lohani, Nepal’s Foreign Minister, is quoted in the Kathmandu Post as stating, "If they (the refugees) are not Bhutanese nationals, they certainly are not Nepalese", referring to the plight of refugees ousted from Bhutan.

October 6

New coalition government under Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa, NDP, comes to power with the Lokendra Bahadur Chand being voted-out through a no-confidence motion.



March 6

CPN-UML is split; Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-ML) formed under the leadership of Bam Dev Gautam.

April 8

A group of refugees in Nepal submit a petition to the Indian Ambassador calling for the release of Bhutanese pro-democracy leader Rongthong Kuenley Dorji.

April 12

Minority government under Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala (NC) comes to power.

August 26

CPN-ML formally joins government.

November 23

A delegation led by Home Minister Govinda Raj Joshi visits Bhutan in an attempt to resolve the refugee issue.

November 26

Home Minister Govinda Raj Joshi says he is confident that an agreement would soon be reached with Bhutan to repatriate 100,000 refugees living in camps in eastern Nepal.

December 10

Coalition government of NC, CPN-UML and Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP) headed by Prime Minister Koirala decides to hold fresh elections at the earliest.



March 5

CPN–UML leader Yadu Gautam assassinated by Maoist insurgents.

April 19

Maoists strike in Kathmandu exploding bombs at the office of the Election Commission and of Gorkhapatra, the largest circulated Nepali newspaper.

April 7

Maoist insurgents decide to start a campaign under which select enemies would be physically eliminated.

May 3 and 17

Third general elections––after the democracy movement succeeded––held. NC wins an absolute number of seats. For the first time, CPN-UML and CPN-ML together secure more seats than the NC.

May 31

New government under Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai comes to power.

September 9

Government presents ‘Nepal Laws Relating to Internal Administration (Amendment) Bill’ to Parliament in order to control terrorist activities.

September 21

Opposition Members of the House of Representatives reject the Bill.





Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.

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