THT 10 years ago: Team back from Lhasa with stolen idols

Kathmandu, June 21, 2007

A three-member government team which had gone to Lhasa to bring back idols and a stupa stolen from a Dolpa monastery arrived in Kathmandu today.

The team under Ek Mani Nepal — the under secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs — has brought with them the idols and the stupa. According to Nepal, Liu Yaohua, the deputy director general at the foreign affairs office in Tibet, handed him over the idols and the stupa yesterday. “We have kept them in the Kathmandu Valley Metropolitan Police Office for now,” he said.

Two sealed boxes weighing 130 kg and containing the idols and the stupa will be handed over to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). The ministry will then make the idols public after verification. The other members of the team comprised script specialists Shyam Sundar Rajbanshi from the Department of Archaeology and the vice-chairman of the Yetser Jangchur Ling Monastery in Dolpa, Orgyan Dorje Gurung.

“We are very thankful to the government of China for their great support in bringing back the stolen idols,” Gurung said. “Our dream has come true and we can now install the idols in their original places and worship them,” he added. Rajbanshi said the bringing back of the idols has been possible because of the positive attitude of China towards Nepal.

Twenty-seven idols of Buddha and a stupa were stolen on August 16, 2005 from the Yetser monastery in Saldang VDC in Dolpa district and taken to Lhasa.

Diarrhoea, cholera kill two in Rautahat

Diarrhoea and cholera have assumed epidemic proportions at Gaidatar of Rautahat’s Chandranigahpur VDC-4. Two persons died of the diseases today, while at least 300 others are affected.

There is not a single household at Gaidatar that has not been affected. Bedmaya Gautam, 75, and 80-year-old Bhimnath Khanal died this morning, their relatives said. With the number of patients standing at 350, medicines have gone into short supply, doctors treating the patients said.

Three physicians are doing their best to treat the patients, said chief of the district Ayurved Health Centre at Chandranigahpur Dr Santosh Kumar Thakur, adding that more doctors should be sent in. Dr Thakur rushed with other fellow physicians to Gaidatar after the news of the epidemic yesterday and the team of doctors is moving from door to door treating patients.

Saying that patients range from three-yearolds to 80-year-olds, Dr Thakur said a patient was given as many as 20 bottles of saline water. The primary health centre at Chandranigahpur was overflowing with patients. The government hospital has completely run out of medicines.

CDO Durga Prasad Bhandari said the epidemic was being brought under control gradually.