The Al Jazeera video summarises man made and natural forces changing — not necessarily for the better — and shaping the lives of the people in, and the world of, Mustang, a very very fragile area, both culturally and ecologically.
The recent discovery of uranium in the area promises to disrupt the way of life of the people in the district and tax the fragile environment even more heavily and possibly dramatically.
In 1996-97, I gave a presentation at at Red Cross Nordic UWC, about tourism and development in Mustang. I have reproduced that presentation as blog posts.
You can find details of who, when and how Upper Mustang was opened up for outsiders in 1992 in my post “The local people should improve the quality of their lives.” […] “But let them not wear ties”, the introduction part of the presentation.
The opening up of the area lead to “intruders” in the form of tourists and development aid workers. In The Ugly Face of Tourism in Mustang in The Nineties, the second part to the presentation, I describe the initial impact of tourism in the area.
In Twisted Benevolence: Development Aid in Mustang in the Nineties, the third and final part of the presentation, I describe the initial attempts at development aid in the region.
It is clear from the 2011 video that there have been very little improvements since the nineties!
Can we hope for a change for the better? Can we?
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Nepali Times (July 2010): Climate refugees in Mustang.
Nepali Times (June-July 2014): Climate Refugees. Personal story of a Yak herder in Mustang left with a hard choice of either continuing with an age old tradition in the face of oppositions and hurdles placed before him by climate change or relocating with the rest of his villagers. The article includes the documentary about the herder.
Nepali Times (July 2015): Mystical Mustang in the monsoon. Tourist guesthouses in Upper Mustang are intact, but empty.
TheThirdPole.net (Nov 2015): High and Dry in Mustang. Nepal’s most arid region is getting even less rain than it did before, forcing villagers to relocate.
Nepali Times: High and dry. The same article as the preceding one but with more photos and visuals.
Radio Free Asia (July 6, 2016): Nepal Police Break Up Tibetan Refugees’ Celebration of Dalai Lama’s Birthday.
Phayul.com (July 6, 2016): Police stop Dalai Lama’s Birthday celebrations in Nepal, 30 including TSO detained.
The Himalayan Times (July 6, 2016): 28 Tibetan refugees detained from Kathmandu on Dalai Lama birthday. This version, interestingly enough, omits the fact that the organizers had obtained prior permission from the relevant authorities for the gathering and celebration.
Rambles, C. and Seeber, C. Dead and the living settlements in the Shoyul of Mustang. [Added on May 24, 2017.]