Team leaves for Lhasa to bring back idols

Kathmandu, June 17:

A three-member government team, headed by Ek Mani Nepal, under secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs, left for Lhasa today to bring back the idols and a stupa stolen from Yetser Jangchur Ling Monastery in Dolpa.

Script specialists Shyam Sundar Rajbanshi from the Department of Archaeology and the vice-chairman of the monastery Orgyan Dorje Gurung are other members in the team.

Nepali consular in Tibet had called the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) to Lhasa by June 17.

Prakash Darnal, under secretary of MoCTCA, said: “Due to various reasons, the team could not go to Lhasa on June 12; so they left for Lhasa on another date.”

Darnal, also the chief archaeological officer at Culture Preservation and Promotion Division, said that the idols would be kept at the Metropolitan Police Range which would later be re-installed in its original place.

Altogether 27 Buddha idols and a stupa were stolen in August 2005 from the monastery in Saldang VDC in Dolpa. According to the ministry, the Lhasa court has announced capital punishment for the people convicted in the theft.