Lhasa hotels a Klondike for fluent-in-English Nepalis

Lhasa, September 30:

Hotels above three star in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), have hired Nepalis solely to communicate in English.

They, however, don’t get employed as Guest/Public Relation Officers. Most of them are working as cooks or helpers in the kitchen.

“Most of Nepalis in Lhasa are employed in the Hotel, Travel and Tours business. Nepalis get employment in hotels for their ability to communicate in English,” Bharat Regmi, Officiating Consular General of Nepal, said. “Very few Tibetans can communicate in English. The growth in tourism has landed them in trouble as they cannot communicate with foreigners. So Nepalis are getting jobs in hotels,” Regmi added.

Xu Hao, Deputy director general of Qinghai Tourism Board, said that though a majority of tourists in Tibetan Plateau are Chinese, hotel staff find it hard to deal with foreigners that come in a trickle. The owner of Lhasa Kitchen Hotel said he hired two Nepalis in the kitchen. “They help us communicate with foreigners,” he said. “There are 200 Nepalis holding permanent jobs. Around

150 Nepalis are employed in Hotels and the rest in the Travel and Tour business,” Regmi added. According to him, Nepalis don’t sign contract paper before coming here for the employment. “That’s why, they get into trouble sometimes.

But we help them solve the problems,” he added.

Data at the Office of the Consulate General of Nepal at Lhasa show that 368 people are staying in Lhasa. “We have issued passports to 182 Nepalis, who don’t have Nepali citizenship. This is in line with the agreement reached between late King Birendra and the Lhasa Authority,” he added.

He said eight Nepalis so far

have terminated their Nepali citizenship. Meanwhile, 25 Nepalis are

languishing in Lhasa jail. Many

of them are charged with drug peddling and four of them have been

accused of arms smuggling, according to Nepal’s Consulate General Office at Lhasa.