Kathmandu, Nepal | @safaljiwan
Kathmandu is not a glamorous city, but for the many visitors who flock here, that’s a good thing. It’s chaos at its best — dusty streets crowded with traffic in front of ornamental temples, and winding alleys that lead to thriving markets and packed squares. Nepal’s majestic natural landscape is often the draw, but in the heart of its capital city lies a vibrant culture worth exploring.
NOTE: As of January 2019, Everest Base Camp is closed to tourists.
"One of the most spectacular sights of Kathmandu is the enormous Bodnath stupa. Soak in the magical atmosphere of this holy temple while watching the believers walking around it murmuring prayers. Special tip: Admire the view and the colorful prayer flags blowing in the wind from one of the rooftop cafés." - Melanie's Discovery
Can anything beat a good plate of dumplings? While in town, try a plate of momo dumplings served with tomato-based achar from one of the many dumpling huts lining the streets. Thamel Momo Hut is a particular recommendation. For a traditional Nepalese meal, head to OR2K where you’ll sit cross-legged on cushions, or Fusion Himalaya which serves up delicious yet affordable entrees like dahl bot and curry.
Like most tourist centers, Kathmandu is not without its nice resorts, and you can find a Hyatt and a Radisson if you want something familiar. But if you want something a little more local yet still luxurious, the dreamy Dwarika’s Hotel or the grand Hotel Yak and Yeti are perfect. Staying on a budget? Try Maya Boutique Lodge. Of course, getting out of the city opens the door to more options, so don’t count out the villages surrounding Kathmandu, where you can find some great accommodations in more peaceful locales.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. | Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Layer Up "Be aware that during wintertime it can get quite chilly in Kathmandu. And the bad news is there is no heating in restaurants or Airbnbs. Maybe if you’re lucky there is one gas stove to (not) heat up the whole room. So always put an extra layer on." – Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
By Jack Ryan
In peaceful Nepal, a sinister black market is flourishing. Kavre province has become infamous for the shocking numbers of people who have sold their kidneys. Poverty and lack of education about the potential impact on health mean villagers are easy prey for unscrupulous dealers. Tricked into undergoing risky surgery and paid a pittance, donors are often left with debilitating and lifelong consequences.
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Nepalese Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers Tulsi Giri (R) gestures as he speaks with with India's Minister of State for External Affairs, Rao Inderjit Singh during a meeting in Kathmandu, 21 July 2005. Singh, on a three-day visit to Nepal is scheduled to to hold consultation talks with the government of King Gyanendra on reforms to the Himalayan Kingdom proposed by the United Nations. UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said 16 July, that the Maoist crisis in Nepal was dire and called on the rebels and the government to do everything possible to find an urgent solution to restore peace.
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Tulsi Giri, born in 1928, was an important part of Nepal politics from around 1950. Giri started as a part of the Nepal Congress Party, and was a veteran from the revolusion in 1950 to 1951 and a member of BP Koirala. He was a part of the Koirala government from 1959, but retired in August 1960.
After king Mahendra's coup de’état in december 1960, Giri became the first prime-minister under the dictatorship, and a leading politician in the so-called Panchayat-democracy, which was the official name of the dictatur of king Mahendra starting in 1962.
Tulsi Giri was Prime Minister in Nepal three times: From 26. december 1960 to 23. december 1963, from 26. February 1964 to 26. January 1965 and from 1. december 1975 to 12. september 1977.
After he retired from politics in 1991, he moved to Sri Lanka where he came in contact with the truth and got baptized. Some years later he moved to India, and he also joined the Bethel Family in India after some time.
While John and I arrived Nepal at the end of January 2005, Tulsi Giri, aged 78, was invited to a marriage celebration in Nepal.
Shortly after the introduction of the personal dictatur of king Gyanendra (1. februar 2005) the king invited Tulsi Giri to his residence, (the king was of course informed of the fact that Giri at the moment was visiting Nepal) and offered him to choose between several central positions in the government, at which brother Giri politely rejected, since his political involvement had ended long time ago. But, as brother Giri put it, he might be willing to “give the king some practical advice”.
Only two days later, the national radio and TV broadcast stated that king Gyanendra had made dr. Tulsi Giri his “chairman of ministers of council”, and given him the rank above everybody exept the king himself. Thus it looked like king Gyanendra wanted to recreate a new edition of the Panchayat-systemet, since Giri still was counted as the kings house’s extreme conservative adviser.
Our brother Tulsi Giri was of course incredibly concerned because of the way his situation had turned, at he against his will had been reinstated in a major political position. But one thing was for sure: it was impossible for brother Giri to escape this situation, because of the suvereign power of King Gyanendra. Only a few days before John and me arrived Kathmandu, brother Giri visited brother Pradhan in his home to discuss this intricate matter. Furthermore, both the Bethel in India and in Japan had been asked for advice.
Brother Pradhan also mentined that Jehovahs Witnesses in Nepal for some time had experienced problems related to the import of Biblical litterature. A lot of litterature was stuck at the Kathmandu airport, and the police rejected releasing it. So what had happened with brother Giri was perhaps Jehovahs way to solve the litterature import situation. Furthermore, brother Pradhan told me that he also was familiar with other brothers in modern times, trapped in similar conditions. As an example, he referred to a brother in Tobago who recently was installed as the 'commissionar of Tobago'.
In any case, our brother Tulsi Giri was stuck in a relly difficult situation. And what’s more:
After king Gyanendra’s dictatorship was brought to an end 27. april 2006, brother Giri is put on a list of government politicians not to leave Nepal in the event of a futural court decision.
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Tulsi Giri (
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. : तुलसी गिरि born 26 September 1926) was the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. from 1975 to 1977, and chairman of the Council of Ministers (a de facto Prime Ministerial position) between 1960 and 1963, and again in 1964 and 1965. He was born in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Nepal in 1926. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Tulsi was also a Minister in the
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. government of 1959-1960, before its dissolution by King Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . He was the first prime-minister under the dictatorship. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He studied at the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , when it was affiliated with the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. He received his medical degree but politics soon became his life. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Tulsi has had numerous wives and children and is currently married to Sarah Giri, Sarah is a deaf-rights advocate. As of 2013 they have been married 34 years. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
As an adult Tulsi was baptized to this wife's faith, becoming one of
Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . He resigned as chairman Rastriya Panchayat in 1986 and moved to Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. where he stayed for two years and then finally settled in Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. till 2005.
By The Librarian
Christians are protesting the Nepali government's recent decision to remove Christmas as an observed national holiday.
Since the Asian nation of Nepal became a secular state eight years ago, Christmas has been recognized as a national holiday, Christian Today reports. The government is blaming an over-crowded Nepali calendar for its decision to no longer observe the Christian holiday in the future, stating that too many dates commemorating other religious holidays exist on its list of nationwide celebrations.
Many throughout the Himilayan nation believe that government officials are singling out Christians for discrimination because it chose to eliminate Christmas, instead of numerous other holidays representing other religions — with many having less adherants than Christianity.
In order to address this concern of anti-Christian bias, the Nepali government maintains that its determination to take Christmas off of the nation's list of nationally celebrated holidays was not intended to be an affront to Christians.
Nepal Minister for Home Affairs Shakti Basnet contends that government officials had no choice but to get rid Christmas as a public holiday because it had inserted too many others on its list — contending that the removal Christmas does not reflect any ill-intent on Christians living in Nepal.
"We are forced to take such a decision not to hurt Christians, but to control the rising number of public holidays," Basnet expressed to Asia News, even though the reasoning behing choosing Christmas instead of another one of the many observed holidays was not given.
Unequal freedom to observe?
Christians who work in the private sector have been noticeably more upset over the government's decision to axe Christmas from its list of nationally celebrated holidays — more than government employees, that is. This is because state officials announced to Christians holding government jobs that they will still receive Christmas Day off as a holiday, while privately employed workers — who comprise a significant proportion of the nation's workforce — must still work on December 25 like any other normal work day.
National Federation of Christians (NFC) Secretary General Rev. CB Gehatraj notes the rift that the removal of Christmas creates between private and government employees wishing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
"If Christmas is not a national holiday, the workers of the private sector will not be able to celebrate it," Gehatraj stressed.
He also argues — in contradiction to the state's explanation — that the government is specifically targeting the one holiday that it alotted to Christians, while it purposely left more than 80 observances for Hindus and other religions on its list.
"The government recognises 83 festivities for Hindus and other communities, but none for Christians,” the Christian leader pointed out.
Backing up his assertion that Nepal is indeed moving to diminish the presence of Christianity inside its borders, Gahatraj asserts that the decisions of national authorities are motivated by sentiments against Christianty.
"[The Nepali officials' decision to eliminate Christmas was] influenced by anti-Christian tendencies,” the reverend contends.
Gahatraj announced that a number of faith groups are prepared to challenge the ruling of the Nepali government to exclude Christmas from its expansive observed holiday list.
“We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for our faith and the protection of freedom of worship," he proclaimed. "We strongly demand the restoration of the festivity and that the recent decision be dropped within a week."
The NFC leader says that a nationwide showing of Christian support will work to persuade Nepali government officials to replace Christmas on its nationally observed holiday list if the initial demand for religious freedom to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ is not successful.
"If the government fails to meet our request, we will protest across the country," Gahatraj insisted.
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