Frontline World

NEPAL, Dreams of Chomolongma, May 2003

Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "Dreams of Chomolongma"

Update on the Women Climbers

The Long Climb Up

A Nepali Heroine: Pasang Lhamu

Nepal Country Profile

The Mount Everest Region, Sherpa Life, Nepali Women




Links and Resources

• General Background, Government, and Politics
• The Sherpas and the Mount Everest Region
• Life on the World's Highest Peak
• Women in Nepal
• Media Resources

General Background, Government, and Politics

This electronic networking service for sustainable development in Nepal includes general statistics, demographics, vital statistics, and information about the country's history, cultural life and national emblems.

Nepal Home Page
This directory of Nepal Web sites includes links to information about the country's government and politics, its economy and business, Nepali music, arts and sports, academia, and Nepal-related message boards and chat rooms.

His Majesty's Government of Nepal Development Directory
This directory includes links to Web sites about the environment and conservation work in Nepal as well as to the United Nation's Nepal country profile, U.S. State Department reports on human rights, and World Bank activities in Nepal.

United Nations Development Report
Learn more about Nepal's human development progress in the last 10 years and further challenges for Nepal in this United Nations report, "The Second Country Cooperation Framework for Nepal."

NGOs in Nepal
This is a directory of leading nongovernmental organizations in Nepal committed to a variety of human development issues, from health care and the welfare of children to Nepali cultural and environmental preservation. Contact information and links to Web sites are included.

Gyanendra's Test: Nepal's Monarchy in the Era of Democracy
This article by Holly Gayley in the Harvard Asia Quarterly traces the historical and political roots of Nepal's monarchy and what Gayley characterizes as the monarchy's "capricious relationship" with democracy. The author also examines the events at the Narayanhiti Palace on June 1, 2001, when a massacre claimed the lives of King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev and his heirs, then goes on to explore the Maoist insurgency that is testing King Gyanendra's rule. (Harvard Asia Quarterly, Winter 2002)

Political Rights and Civil Liberties
Read the watchdog organization Freedom House's report on the state of political and civil freedoms in Nepal.

Nepal's Maoist Insurgency
The BBC's coverage of the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, which has taken the lives of nearly 8,000 Nepali in the seven years since the conflict started, includes questions and answers on the cease-fire brokered in January 2003 and a timeline of Nepali history and the conflict. Other BBC coverage and analysis of Nepal includes a report on the June 2001 massacre of the royal family in Nepal.

"Rebels in Nepal Drive Down Tourism"
This New York Times article by Philip Shenon examines the impact the Maoist insurgency has had on Nepal's economy, including the 28 percent drop in tourism. (The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2003; registration required)

"Insurgents Create Growing Instability in Nepal"
In this article, New York Times reporter David Rohde describes Prachanda, "the fierce one," leader of the Nepali Maoist insurgents, who have modeled themselves after Peru's Maoist Shining Path guerrillas. He also examines U.S. interests in Nepal and recent American military aid to the country -- $17 million in equipment, training and American troops. (New York Times, Dec. 29, 2002; registration required)

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The Sherpas and the Mount Everest Region

The Sherpas
This Web site is a clearinghouse for information on Sherpa history, religion and culture as well as for links to articles and organizations dedicated to promoting understanding of the Sherpas.

National Geographic
For the 50-year commemoration of the first ascent of Mount Everest, National Geographic writer T.R. Reid treks through the Khumbu region, reporting on the history of the Sherpas, their mystique in the West and their current-day challenges. (National Geographic Magazine, May 2003)

American Himalayan Foundation
The American Himalayan Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people and ecology of the Himalaya. Founded in 1979, the foundation supports 27 schools, two hospitals and 11 health clinics in the Everest area as well as in Tibet and Pakistan. Read background on the foundation's various projects.

Himalayan Trust
The Himalayan Trust is a charity organization for people of the Khumbu area of Nepal, close to Everest, and the surrounding area. It was founded and is largely funded by the famed New Zealand mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, first to reach the Everest summit in 1953. The trust works in partnership with the American Himalayan Foundation on many projects.

Nepali Mountaineering Association
This national mountaineering association of Nepal promotes mountaineering activities in the Himalaya among Nepali people. In addition to administering permits for dozens of the country's highest mountain peaks, the association operates various training programs, including basic rock-climbing for Nepali youth and outdoor leadership for women. Read about its many other programs, from its scholarship program for children of deceased climbers to its environmental conservation work.

Porter's Progress
This organization, based in Kathmandu and Lukla, is dedicated to improving the living conditions of porters and mountain guides, including Sherpas. It aims to be a new model for foreign development by instituting a cooperative administration staffed by porters; soliciting programming and policy through input by the porter community; and eventually having the program administered, funded and run by porters themselves. The group also offers English language classes and courses in altitude sickness prevention, environmental awareness, basic health and hygiene, and community building. The site includes guidelines for climbers to follow when hiring porters.

Tengboche Monastery
This Buddhist monastery is located on the main route to the base camp of Mount Everest and offers the first views of the summit.

Books on Nepal Mountaineering and the Sherpa
The Web site of mountaineering tour operator Himalayan Trekking includes a list of suggested readings, with references to some of the leading books on greater Nepal, the Khumbu region and Sherpa life.

Between Buddhist Traditions and Cyber-Surfing
This article by Kurt Luger, professor of intercultural communication and tourism at the University of Salzburg in Austria, describes the changing Sherpa youth culture. (Nepal News, Aug. 16-22, 2002)

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Life on the World's Highest Peak

Mount Everest
Track the latest expeditions and explore Mount Everest history and facts, including information about records set on the tallest mountain on Earth.

Surviving Everest
Fifty years after the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, the sons of the three celebrated Everest climbers lead the way back to the summit for this National Geographic documentary premiering May 29, 2003. The Web site showcases various features, including an Everest timeline, photos, travel tips and lesson plans for educators.

Radio Expeditions: Mount Everest
National Public Radio correspondent Elizabeth Arnold interviews Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing, the sons of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who were the first to reach Mount Everest's summit. Listen to the full interview streamed online, as the two men reflect on their fathers' achievement 50 years ago for this episode of Radio Expeditions, a co-production of NPR and the National Geographic Society.

Lost on Everest
This companion Web site to the NOVA documentary chronicling a 1999 expedition to investigate the mysterious 1924 disappearances of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Mount Everest includes portraits of the climbers and a map of the men's route up the north face of Mount Everest. The site also showcases key radio transmissions on the day Mallory's body was found, NOVA team dispatches from base camp and photos of the expedition as well as an animation sequence on the formation of the Himalayas.

Everest Cents
The cost of a Mount Everest expedition can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Read this dollar breakdown of a typical guided expedition.

The World's Highest Garbage Dump
This column by Bruce Parker, president of Environmental Industry Associations, details trash and conservation challenges on Mount Everest and the impact of a half-century of climbing on the mountain. (Environmental Industry News, Nov. 2001)

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Women in Nepal

Women's NGOs
This directory of Nepali nongovernmental organizations is dedicated to improving the status of women.

Women Awareness Centre Nepal
This women's NGO based in Kathmandu targets rural, underprivileged women with awareness campaigns, which include income-generation training and literacy programs.

The Pasang Lhamu Mountaineering Foundation
This foundation is dedicated to the memory of Pasang Lhamu, who, in 1993, became the first Nepali woman to reach Mount Everest's summit, but who died in her descent. The foundation works to improve the situation of mountain women and children.

A Report on Women's Leadership for Peace
Leading Nepali women representing various political parties came together in 2002 to talk about a women's platform for peace and how women have been affected by the conflict between Maoist rebels and the Nepali government. The conference was sponsored by the Centre for Development and Population Activities and the U.N. Population Fund. Read excerpts from the panelists' discussion and closing remarks.

Trafficking of Nepali Women
Human Rights Watch investigated the trafficking of Nepali women and girls in India's prostitution trade for this 1994 report. The investigators concluded that more than 20,000 Nepali girls and women were prostitutes in Bombay alone, and about 70 percent of them, they believe, belonged to ethnic minority groups, including Tamang, Gurung, Magar and Sherpa. Human Rights Watch reported that the conditions for the women were tantamount to slavery and that they were subjected to serious physical abuse.

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Media Resources

One-Stop Site for Nepal News
This directory includes a comprehensive list of Nepal's leading daily newspapers, news portals, weeklies, magazines and newsletters.

The Rising Nepal
This is one of Nepal's leading daily newspapers in English, owned by the government-controlled Gorakhapatra Corporation publishing house.

Radio Nepal
This is Nepal's influential radio station, controlled and owned by the government, whose political coverage favors the ruling party. Because of Nepal's high illiteracy rate, many Nepali citizens rely on the radio as their main source of information.

Radio Sagarmatha
This independent community-based radio station serving the Kathmandu Valley is the first of its kind -- nongovernment and noncommercial -- in South Asia. Its programming, dedicated to strengthening media freedom, pluralism and public expression, would have been illegal but for a recent Nepali supreme court ruling that declared unconstitutional the government's ban on private FM radio stations.

A Profile of Bharat Dutta Koirala
Read about the Nepali journalist who received the prestigious 2002 Ramon Magsaysay Award, "Asia's Nobel Prize." After rising through the ranks of Gorakhapatra Corporation, Koirala left the government-controlled publishing house to found the Nepal Press Institute. Koirala is also known for mounting huge billboard-style newspapers, written in simple language and printed in an easy-to-read font, in Nepal's remote districts where the literacy rate is low; the concept has caught on in other Asian countries.

This is the Internet portal for Kantipur Publications Limited, a growing, 10-year-old media conglomerate in Nepal that also operates the privately owned daily newspapers Kantipur and Kathmandu Post as well as the weekly Saptahik and the monthly Sarvottam.

Nepal and Himalayan Studies
This site brings together news coverage by various Nepali publications on the political strife and instability that has challenged Nepal in recent years.

Mount Everest Golden Jubilee Year
This page is dedicated to Nepali news and event updates about the Everest Golden Jubilee Year.

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