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The picture of Nepal’s unpopular King Gyanendra will be replaced by that of Mount Everest on the Himalayan country’s 10-rupee notes, the finance minister said Friday.The Cabinet picked the world’s highest mountain over Lord Buddha on Thursday to replace the monarch’s image. Officials had earlier suggested that currency notes carry the picture of Buddha, born a prince in Nepal more than 2,600 years ago.

“We decided to go in for Sagarmatha instead of the Buddha because some Buddhist religious organizations were against having his picture on currency notes,” Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat told Reuters.

Sagarmatha, which means head of the sea, is the Nepali name for the world’s highest peak that stands at 8,850 meters (29,035 feet).

The move to remove Gyanendra’s picture comes months after he was stripped of nearly all his powers following mass protests last year that ended nearly 15 months of his absolute rule.

Referring to the coin with the farmer, Mr. Malik says “It is the first coin that hasn’t mentioned the king’s name on it”.
If everything goes according to the plan, the new denominations will come into mass circulation by May or June.
Anti- monarchist feeling has been strong since the protests last April which resulted in King Gyanendra abandoning a 15-month-long period of direct rule.
Earlier this month the authorities cancelled a holiday commemorating the birth of Nepal’s first king.

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