ExWeb quick update: Everest, the Olympics, China, Tibet and - Pakistan

Posted: Mar 24, 2008 10:30 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net/K2climb.net) Last week he was reportedly in India, this week he planned a road trip to China.

The Minister seems to be just about everywhere except for the Nepal Ministry of Tourism; leaving angered climbers to deal with administrators who lack power to sign anything. In short, Nepal seems to be stalling climbing permissions.

The ice fall not yet started

Some have started to make their way up the Khumbu, hoping to obtain climbing permits at least on arrival in Everest BC. The work to set up the ice fall has reportedly not yet commenced however, and "it needs to be done early this year if all the other restrictions become reality," one climber told ExWeb.

Guy Cotter of Adventure Consultants told local media (Stuff.co.nz) that "it had been indicated that the permits would be issued for Everest this year but they are still unclear on the final wording of the permits and the unusual conditions."

Cotter says that "the issue is being regarded as a hot potato by the authorities."


Earlier reports said that the torch team planned to reach Everest north side BC March 18. Reports from Lhasa late last week to ExWeb however stated that the climbers were still in the city, but prepared to leave for the mountain early this week.

At Olympia in Greece, last night the Olympic flame was lit as Reporters Without Borders managed to stage a protest which was quickly cut out by Chinese editing crews before sent "live" back to China.

One of the major grounds for China to get the Olympics was its promise to allow free press during the event, a promise that is now crumbling.

"Either Tibet is open or it's not. If it is, let independent monitors and the media go there. If it's not, the torch shouldn't go there either," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "The Olympic torch should not be turned into a smokescreen to cover up human rights abuses."

Such abuses are in violation with both the Olympic Charter and of the basic principles of corporate social responsibility, said the Human Rights Watch spokeswoman, urging sponsors and organizers to think twice about their involvement. "Acting responsibly is good publicity. Being morally blind is not," Richardson said.

Last week, French Observer 24 news revealed that Yahoo China has pasted a "most wanted" poster of Tibetans across its homepage, where Chinese authorities provided a phone number for informants to use in total anonymity. Saturday, Yahoo denied the posting.

The French Observer 24 news source however posted a screenshot of the refugees on Yahoo China and the company says, "we are looking into this matter with Alibaba Group, the company that controls China Yahoo!," adding, "Yahoo! deplores the use of the Internet to suppress freedom of expression."

Climbing elsewhere

Meanwhile climbers are looking around the world for other places to go. Several are rerouting to Pakistan, and for those it could be worth to check out Blankonthemap with lots of added maps in Karakoram, and also a recent posting about the situation in Tibet.

Form that part of the world; ExWeb's correspondent in Islamabad Karrar Haidri reported today that newly elected Pakistan Peoples Party has nominated Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani for Prime Minister.

Gillani is a party Vice-Chairman who served as National Assembly speaker under Bhutto in the 1990s and later was jailed for five years under Musharraf for alleged corruption. From the Gillani family in Multan, Syed is one of the leading figures of the Pakistan Peoples Party, former speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan (1993-1996) and former Federal minister (1985-1988).

Soon after getting his MA degree in Journalism, Gillani joined the Muslim League's Central Working Committee. After a short stint with the Muslim League, Gillani become part of the Pakistan Peoples Party in 1988 and has since remained PPP's loyal and steadfast supporter.

#Mountaineering #Mountaineering

Image of Everest icefall, ExWeb files (click to enlarge).
The message on one of the protesters' flags, unfurled in Greece overnight. Image courtesy of Blankonthemap.
Saturday, Yahoo denied this posting. Image courtesy of French Observer 24 news.
ExWeb's correspondent in Islamabad Karrar Haidri reported today that brand newly elected Pakistan Peoples Party has nominated Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani (in image) for Prime Minister.

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