Monday, Oct 20, 2014

Sherpas demand Rs 1 mn for Nepal avalanche victims, threaten strike

A relative of a victim cries during his funeral Monday. AP A relative of a victim cries during his funeral Monday. AP
Press Trust of India | Kathmandu | Posted: April 22, 2014 12:39 am

Nepalese Sherpa guides, who play a key role in mountain expeditions, Monday warned of an agitation if their demand of Rs 1 million in compensation for their 13 colleagues killed in the deadliest accident on Mount Everest last week is not met.

The climbers and mountain guides, during a meeting held at the Everest Base Camp at 5,300-m altitude, decided to ask the government to provide Nepali Rs 1 million compensation for each climber, a statement issued by the Sherpas said.

A massive avalanche struck Mount Everest last Friday, killing at least 13 Nepalese Sherpa guides and injuring several in the deadliest mountaineering accident on the the 8,848m-high peak.

“We will halt all mountaineering expeditions for a week to mourn the deceased climbers,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), said.

“We are also asking the government to set up a Mountaineering Relief Fund by allocating 30 per cent of the royalty received from the climbers,”he said.

The Sherpas have also asked the government to bear all expenses for treatment of those injured during the avalanche, provide compensation to all the climbers who were rescued from the mountain and double their current insurance amount.

At present each climber is insured for $10,000.

They have demanded to install statues of all the deceased climbers in Kathmandu for their recognition.

“We will launch an agitation, if these demands are not met,” the Sherpas said.

Meanwhile, six bodies were brought to Shahid Park in Kathmandu Monday for a funeral procession where Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Development, Prakash Man Singh, and other senior government officials paid homage to the Sherpas.

The services of Sherpa guides are considered to be important for climbing mountains.

If the Sherpa guides go on strike, it could seriously disrupt the rest of the climbing season, a mountaineering official said.

Nine Sherpas were rescued alive after the avalanche swept away about 25 climbers and mountain guides on Friday.

The rescue team abandoned their search Monday due to heavy snowfall.

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