Stab in the back

At the time Stan Stevenson, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA,

was inciting locals in the vicinity of the Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) to declare — without any consultations with Nepali government or the concerned NGOs — three villages in SNP an independent conservation area, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNWC) chose to wait and watch. Perhaps the officials had naively believed, even in the wake of the Ian Baker scandal, and dozens of reports on unauthorised transportation and exploitation of Nepali animals in the US, that respected ‘scholars’ from star-studded

educational establishments like MIT can do no harm to Nepal’s interests.

Though Nepal has never been occupied by foreign forces, Nepalis, it seems, still feel pangs of inferiority with Westerners in their midst. Besides, what have people of the first world to gain from Nepal? What is often forgotten is that Nepal is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world; and unscrupulous foreigners can exploit the potential for their benefit. Thus “international experts” should be barred from working in Nepal without good reasons. The SNP case should be thoroughly investigated and legal action taken against Stevenson. Yes, Nepalis do treat their guests as demi-gods, but even the divine have to maintain a certain

amount of decorum. And all the more so with the all too human ‘foreign experts’.