Nepal Quake: Prelude to Bigger Disaster?

Nepal Quake: Prelude to Bigger Disaster?With tremors declining in magnitude and emergency relief crews packing to leave, Nepal is likely to slip from the world’s attention. But the unstable geological condition that brought the latest disaster still lurks. Unless the government seizes this moment, Nepal will face new calamities. The human tragedy in Nepal, which cost more than 8,000 lives,…

Aid agencies pour into Nepal – Then what?

Aid agencies pour into Nepal – Then what?In the immediate aftermath of a disaster of the scale of Nepal’s 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the scramble by aid agencies to respond can easily descend into chaos. Following the earthquake that killed 220,000 Haitians in 2010, the influx of hundreds of aid agencies and civil society organisations – many with no prior knowledge of the country…

Nepal’s Tragedy on the Way to Happen

Nepal’s Tragedy on the Way to HappenNepal’s devastating earthquake, with more than 4,000 people dead was, as has been widely commented over the weekend, a disaster waiting to happen. This small and impoverished country of 28 million people lies in a prime earthquake zone – international experts were in Kathmandu just over a week ago predicting an imminent disaster. And it…

Tragedy in the Himalayas Stirs Revolt

Tragedy in the Himalayas Stirs RevoltThe death last month of 16 Sherpa guides while climbing Mount Everest has cast a pall of gloom on a fast-dwindling and hard-working community in Nepal and India. For the first time death has stirred rebellion among the Sherpa community, many of whom have struck against the danger, lousy pay and poor working conditions.  On…

China Eyes Nepal Province as Key to South Asia Control

China Eyes Nepal Province as Key to South Asia ControlNepal's once-forbidden Kingdom of Lo, or Mustang, hidden far from modernity and surrounded by the world’s highest mountains, continues to preserve pure Tibetan Buddhist culture. But the kingdom may be in transition as increasing Chinese influence threatens to dilute the people's distinctiveness amid its impact on geopolitics. The Communist regime in Beijing is seeking not…

A Last Look at Shangri-La

Mustang, the former Kingdom of Lo, is hidden in the rain shadow of the Himalayas in one of the most remote corners of Nepal. Hemmed in by the world's highest mountain range to the south and an occupied and shuttered Tibet to the north, this tiny Tibetan kingdom has remained virtually unchanged since the 15th…