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  • Discovering Tibet

    March 9, 2008
    by Stefano Valentino


    Chinese police patrol car in front of former Dalai Lama

    “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games”: that’s what the stickers on the trucks ranged in the parking of Kodari announce.

    That is the last strip of Nepal before the Chinese check-post of Zanghmu: the only official crossing-point between the outer world and the legendary land of Tibet, so called Autonomous Region (TAR) ..

    We get in with a tourist visa (journalists are not welcome).

    Our mission: travelling on the road which, in a few months, will lead the Olympic torch to the 8.800mt of Mount Everest. The latter is the ultimate challenge of a round-the-Earth tour which will touch also the US at San Francisco, the 9th of April. You will attend the worldwide-broadcast performance on TV.

    Together with other millions of spectators you will see, but you will not know.

    A few hours of live zoom-shooting in the fabulous Himalaya will not be enough to reveal the drama hidden behind the euphoria of the sport event: a slowly dying Tibet.
    While crossing the border our photo-cameras draw suspicious looks from the guards. “

    As the Olympic games approach the controls are tightening,” a Nepali wayfarer whispers. No way to see Tibetans around here. Beijing forbids them to leave the country.

    Mountains passes are the only escape route for the occupation opponents.

    Read the original print story in English on the Bismarck Tribune

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