Nepali Times


A Tibetan protestor taken off in a police vehicle after trying to stage a peaceful protest in front of UN Building in Kathmandu on Monday afternoon.

Police surround defiant Tibetan protestors after firing teargas to disperse the sitting protest. The protestors were later hauled away into police trucks.

A protestor suffers a bloodied head after clashing with police. The protestors were hoping to talk with UN officials regarding the violent crackdown on Tibetans in Lhasa.

A Tibetan protestor offers peace when shoved away by police. He is part of hundred-odd people trying to stage a peaceful protest outside the UN Building at Kathmandu afternoon in hope of talks with UN officials regarding the violent crackdown on Tibetans in Lhasa.

A woman protestor being dragged away onto a police truck in the early stages of the protest.

Everest closed from both sides
2.45 PM NST | 16 March 2008

Nepal\'s Minister of Tourism Prithbi Subba Gurung confirmed on Friday that under pressure from the Chinese government, Nepal would halt all expeditions climbing Chomolungma from the south side.

"Expedition teams will not be allowed to climb Sagarmatha from base camp between 1-10 May," Subba said. The decision comes after Chinese diplomats in Kathmandu met officials from the home and tourism ministries this week.

But as riots spread through Lhasa on Friday, it was clear that Chinese would not tolerate any expeditions on Chomolungma during the week that it is trying to take the Olympic Torch to the peak of the highest mountain in the world.

On Friday evening, police in Boudha baton-charged a group of monks and nuns who were holding a candle-lit vigil at Kathmandu\'s biggest Buddhist stupa. Eye-witnesses said the police behaved with unnecessary brutality beating unarmed monks.

Nepal\'s government, high altitude guides, trekking and mountaineering industries and the region of Khumbu stand to lose millions of dollars if Chomolugma is closed this season. They have been trying to convince the Chinese at least to allow expeditions from the Nepal side up to Camp 3 or on Nuptse.

But the Chinese stand is said to have hardened after the Lhasa riots and the protests in Kathmandu. They have told the Nepali authorities they don\'t even want trekkers going to Everest Base Camp and want them stopped at Gorakshep. Even Cho Oyu is said to be out of bounds.

There are rumours the Chinese will lean on Nepal to close off Chomolungma for the whole season.

(Dewan Rai)

More in Nepali at

Mount Olympus
Chomolungma falls victim to Olympic politics
10.00 AM NST | 14 March 2008


After stopping expeditions climbing Chomolungma from the north side between 1-10 May, the Chinese government is pressing Kathmandu to also ban expeditions from the Nepal side of the world's highest mountain.

Chinese officials reportedly met representatives of the Home, Defence and Tourism Ministries in Kathmandu on Monday to ask for the halt. Till press time Thursday Nepal's trekking and mountaineering companies were trying to negotiate a compromise that would allow expeditions to go up to Camp 3 till 10 May.

"We are hoping for a last-minute compromise at a higher political level," a participant of the meeting at the Tourism Ministry told Nepali Times.

Last week, the China Tibet Mountaineering Association sent a letter to expeditions from the north asking them to "postpone" climbing because of "crowded climbing routes and increased environmental pressures".

But the real reason seems to be worries that protesters may try to disrupt a high-profile climb in early May which will take the Olympic torch to the summit of Chomolungma. Tibetan activists want to use the August Olympics in Beijing to highlight their campaign for a free Tibet, and have stepped up protests worldwide this week.

There were even protests inside Tibet on Tuesday with monks taking out rallies at Ganden and Sera monasteries outside Lhasa. Last year, American activists who unfurled a banner at base camp on the Chinese side that read: 'One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008' were deported.

The Chinese have been sensitive to the presence of Tibetan activists in Nepal, and have got Kathmandu to crackdown on functions to mark the Dalai Lama's birthday celebrations. Last week, Nepal deported a Tibetan refugee and police baton-charged a pro-Tibetan protest in Baudha on Tuesday.

The Nepal government stands to lose at least 1.2 million dollars in royalties alone if expeditions from the Nepal side are cancelled, and many high-altitude guides will lose their jobs on both sides of the mountain. Last year there were a record 48 expeditions from north and south.

Early May is the peak climbing period on Chomolungma when expeditions establish camps, fix ropes and acclimatise for the final summit push towards the third week of May. Nepali mountaineering firms are trying to get the Chinese to agree to allow expedition to get up to the Western Cwm and make summit pushes only after 10 May.

The question is what will happen if the summit torch is delayed because of bad weather.

Reported by Dewan Rai

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)