The Royal Nepalese Embassy
2131 Leroy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008

Dear Sir:

We, the Nepalese from the Himalayan region, were anguished and ashamed to learn of our Government’s order for the closure of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Office and the Tibetan Refugee Welfare Office in Kathmandu.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not just a leader of the Tibetan people. As Buddhists, we – the Sherpas, Manangis, Bara Gaunles, Lopas, Dolpopas, Limipas, Kirantis, Newars, Tamangs, Thakalis, Gurungs, Magars, Jirels, Thamis, Lepchas, Walungs, and Yolmos of Nepal – have a very deep spiritual bond with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is our Guru and in fact the embodiment of our spiritual faith. As such, it is only natural for us to expect the Government to show him the kind of respect that any legitimate government would show for the religious leader of its people.

Moreover, we believe that our country has an obligation to come to the succor of our Tibetan neighbors in their hour of distress. Our country has a long history of cordial relations with Tibet. Even when independent Tibet closed its door to the outside world, Nepalese citizens were allowed to travel there freely, just as Tibetans came to Nepal for pilgrimage of our holy Buddhist sites and to receive teaching from Nepalese Buddhist masters. Knowing this, King Mahendra and King Birendra welcomed the Tibetan refugees with open arms. The Tibetans, in their turn, remember the two kings with great fondness even to this day.

We fail to understand why the Government has suddenly decided to single out the Tibetan refugees for discrimination when the refugees from Bhutan are treated with remarkable hospitality and warmth. The 20,000-odd Tibetan refugees living in Nepal and the new refugees who continue to transit through Nepal on their way to India badly need their welfare office in Kathmandu. Hosting this office, as we have done for the past four decades, is only a gesture of humanitarian concern, one that the Tibetans will forever remember with gratitude.

From the international perspective, His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seen as the personification of truth, compassion and peace. His most important mission, one for which has given his whole life, is the promotion of basic human values in order to make this world a better place for all of us, irrespective of nationality and religious denominations. Small wonder then that he is today regarded as the greatest leader. Small wonder also that the stage is now set for the history of humankind to remember him as the finest example of human generosity and compassion.

How can our Government even think of closing down the office of such a noble being! We do, of course, understand the Government’s desire for friendly relations with China at a time like this when our country is faced with such a critical situation. But we also feel that a self-respecting country like Nepal should not slavishly follow the terms dictated to us by a foreign power, particularly when that term is so shocking to the conscience of the world and so painful to the religious sentiment of its own Buddhist citizens. This is the time to make every possible effort to unite all the diverse groups of our country, not to alienate some.

Therefore, in the interests of our country’s international image and in deference to the religious sentiment of Nepalese Buddhists, we would request the Government to reconsider this unwise and shortsighted decision to close down the two offices.

With the assurance of our dedication to our country, we look forward to seeing a positive response from the Government.

Yours sincerely,

LG Khambache, President
Sherpa Kyidug; United Sherpa Association
365 Westminster Road , #3D
Brooklyn NY 11218

Tashi Gurung, President
Manang Association
51-01, 39th Avenue A-34
Sunnyside NY 11104

Narayan Gurung, President
Gurung Association
Myrtle Ave 3 Fl
Ridgewood, NY 11385

Lama Nyima G Yolmo, President
Yolmo Association
70-18 34th Avenue, Apt 2 B
Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Nima Lama, President
Gyasumda Association

Sonam Lama, President
Mustang Kyidug

Subash Lama, President
Tamang Association President

Tenzing Ukyab, President
Wolung Community of North America (Olang Chung Gola)

Lama Tsewang, President
Nepal Center, New York