HUMLA, June 16: Are you planning to visit Kailash Mansarovar? If yes, do not forget to carry your passport with Chinese visa.
Chinese security personnel deployed along the Nepal-Tibet border have been preventing Nepali pilgrims from entering the Kailash Mansarovar region if they are found traveling without Chinese visa.
Until last year, the pass issued by the local administration of Tibet would suffice for Nepali pilgrims to visit Kailash mansarovar. But since May 2, the Chinese security personnel have been sending back Nepali pilgrims traveling without Chinese visa.
Hari Neupane, a resident of Butwal, was unaware of the new provision until he reached Hilsa of Humla. When he was asked to produce Chinese visa, Neupane had no choice but to return back. "I wasted money for reaching Hilsa," said Neupane.
According to Norbu Lama, a local resident of Humla, the Chinese security personnel started seeking visa from Nepali pilgrims after Rimpochhe Chang Thang delivered a speech in Yalwang monastery in Muchu VDC of Humla district.
On June 1, after spending a month in Yalwang monastery, Rimpochhe Thang went to Dharmashala, India, where the Dalai Lama has long been living in exile.
Rimpochhe Thang was jailed for 25 years in Tibet for “involving in anti-China activities”. He has been living in India and Taiwan after he was freed from the jail.
Nepalis as well as Tibetans had attended the program where Rimpochhe Thang delivered his speech. Locals say that the Chinese security personnel started seeking visas from Nepali pilgrims as Rimpochhe Thang raised free Tibet issue during his speech.
Nar Bahadur Bishta, acting chief of District Police Office of Humla, says the new visa provision has not only affected pilgrims but also local people.
"The locals of Humla frequently go to Mansarovar region," says Bishta. "Now, they have to go all the way to Kathmandu for Chinese visa before entering Mansarovar region. He added, "The Nepali local administration has not been officially informed about the new provision."
However, the Chinese security personnel have not barred tourists from India or any other country from visiting Kailash mansarovar.