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Nepal border dispute: Nepal asks India to remove obstruction

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Kathmandu: Nepal on Monday asked India to remove the ongoing obstruction at its border and resume the supply of fuel and essential commodities to the Himalayan nation.

A meeting chaired by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli passed a special resolution and asked New Delhi to end the obstruction of medicines and gasoline supply at the India-Nepal border.

“The government urges the Indian government to contribute toward maintaining a cordial relation with Nepal by resuming fuel and essential commodities (supply) to Nepal,” Prime Minister Oli’s media advisor Pramod Dahal told Xinhua news agency.

Thousands of Nepal-bound cargo vehicles and tankers carrying medicines, basic commodities and fuel have been clogged at the Indian side of the border.

Nepal said the Indian government had imposed an embargo against it since September 22, just two days after the promulgation of the new constitution in Nepal.

“India’s reservation on our new constitution is completely irrational as the constitution is purely an internal document of Nepal. We urge India to end the ongoing economic blockade and treat us as a friendly neighbour,” Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Chandra Prakash Mainali said.

Nepal had been fully dependent on gasoline imports from India for years.

However, India has denied any kind of embargo against Nepal and cited ongoing protests by Madhesi parties of Nepal behind such obstructions at the border.

(IANS)

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9 Climbers Pulled From Snow After A Sudden Storm On Mount Gurja, Nepal

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

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Mount Gurja
Tourists take pictures at Sarangkot in Pokhara, with the view of the Mount Annapurna range in the background, some 200 km (124 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nov. 30, 2008. Annapurna, at 8,091 meters high, is the 10th highest mountain in the world.. VOA

A rescue team Sunday began retrieving the bodies of nine climbers killed in a violent storm on Nepal’s Mount Gurja, a freak accident that has left the mountaineering community reeling.

A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp where the South Korean climbing expedition was staying when powerful winds and snow swept through, killing the entire team and scattering their bodies as far as 500 meters (yards) away.

“All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down,” said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

Mount Gurja
A helicopter dropped four mountain guides at the camp.

A second helicopter along with a team of rescue specialists and villagers were also involved in the mission, which has been hampered by strong winds as well as the camp’s remoteness in the Dhaulagiri mountain range of Nepal’s Annapurna region.

The bodies of the climbers, five South Koreans and four Nepalis, will be flown to Pokhara, a tourist hub that serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region, and then to Kathmandu, said Yogesh Sapkota of Simrik Air, a helicopter company involved in the effort.

‘Like a bomb went off’

The expedition’s camp was destroyed by the powerful storm, which hit the area late Thursday or Friday, flattening all the tents and leaving a tangled mess of tarpaulin and broken polls.

“Base camp looks like a bomb went off,” said Dan Richards of Global Rescue, a U.S.-based emergency assistance group that will be helping with the retrieval effort.

Mount Gurja
Wangchu Sherpa of Trekking Camp Nepal, organised the expedition

The expedition was led by experienced South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, who has climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen.

Experts puzzled

Mountaineering experts are questioning how the experienced team was so badly hit at their base camp at 3,500 meters.

Also Read: Nepal Saves Its Tiger Population, Doubles It

“At this point we don’t understand how this happened. You don’t usually get those sorts of extreme winds at that altitude and base camps are normally chosen because they are safe places,” Richards said.

The team had been on 7,193-meter (23,599-foot) Mount Gurja since early October, hoping to scale the rarely climbed mountain via a new route. (VOA)