Idols recovered from Lhasa yet to find their way home

Kathmandu, August 3:

Lack of security at the Yetser Jangchur Ling Monastery (YJLM) has delayed the re-installation of 27 idols and a stupa at the YJLM. The artefacts were recovered from thieves in Lhasa.

Orgyan Dorje Gurung, vice-chairman of the YJLM, said they had written to the Home Ministry to make security arrangements at the YJL, but had not yet received a response from the ministry. “The Home Ministry is not considering our request,” he charged. “As a number of thefts have taken place in the village, we want government security not only for the monastery alone, but for the entire village, too.”

In the last week of every August, people from Tibet visit Dolpa and the people

of Dolpa visit Tibet to sell their products. Some Khampas (Tibetan refugees), who stole the idols in the past, might do so again.

“They have known about the idols in the monastery and the Khampas are likely to attempt to loot the monastery once again.”

According to him, there are many valuable idols at the YJLM. It is the responsibility of the government to deploy security forces to protect the monastery, Gurung said.

Ek Mani Nepal, an under-secretary at the Home Ministry, said, “It is the duty of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation to be assured of security before it sends the idols to Dolpa. We can provide security if the ministry asks for it,” he said.

Prakash Darnal, an under-secretary at the MoCTCA, said the locals should ensure the safety of the monastery, he said. “We are discussing whether to take the idols to the monastery in a helicopter or employ porters to take them there.”