Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Namaste! Greeting from the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal!
After 20 years, on the behest of their spiritual head Dalai Lama, the Buddhist monks are on the street to highlights their grievance and animosity against the domination of China. China has always claimed that Tibet has always been part of China. The demonstration that was supposed to be non violent turned out violent on Friday May 14th. The news report as rumored says that the streets in Lhasa turned into battle ground between the demonstrators and the authorities. The rumor says the protest are targeted against the Summer Olympics games set for August this year to highlight the issue that is getting into the shadow as China surged in the international relation.
To herald the opening of the Summer Olympic Game the Chinese government is planning to take the torch to the summit of Mt. Everest; and May is the best time to get the torch at the summit. It is of course a national prestige of China and their ambitious plan to let the world know about the unprecedented event. But the fallout of the event has fallen on poor Nepal.
The rumor in Katmandu is that China officials have approached Nepalese government authorities to abort permit for the expedition to Mt. Everest and other prominent peaks at the northern border during their attempt to put the flame on top. Mt. Everest is a money spinner for the government of Nepal that generate US$2.1 million as revenue every summer. And as usual the authorities in the government dithered and were confused. They all knew through diplomatic channels specially from the Russian Ambassador, who took the issue totally for different reason in the safety of its own nationals, suggesting Nepalese authorities to open new route as the normal route is going to be congested as the Chinese authorities would close Mt. Everest for foreign expedition in May. Current unpublished news says the Nepalese government has submitted to the pressure and has restricted the climbing team not to climb from 1st to 10th of May on the summit of Mt. Everest and Cho Oyu. The Chinese government has already restricted climbing Mt. Everest and Cho Oyu until 10th of May.
Apart from the expedition the other rumors are that Tibet is closed. There is no ways to verify this news. But the Chinese embassy have been issuing visa to visit Tibet until Friday 14th March. The flight to and from Lhasa has been going on uninterrupted. Tibet is still open to visitors but due to political demonstration that suddenly turned violent the important monasteries have become off limit to the tourist. Of course there are people in Lhasa who tend to believe that monasteries in Lhasa have been temporarily closed due to repair. However, one way or other for the time being Lhasa is disturbed. Dalai Lama has called for calm and dialogue on the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibet uprising against Chinese; the dialogue had remained stalled for sometime.
We will keep track of news unfolding in Tibet as we see from Nepal.
Kailash Himalaya Trek Pvt. Ltd.