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Mount Kailash Deserated

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/05/17; May 17, 2001.]

Some press agencies and specialized magazines have recently spread the news that a Spanish mountaineering expedition led by Mr Jesus Martinez NovE0s had applied for and was granted permission by the Chinese authorities to attempt the climb of Mount Kailash in Tibet.20

Upon receiving such information, the Dalai Lama released the following statement:

"We are deeply disturbed by reports that the Chinese authorities have given permission to a group of Spanish climbers to scale Gang Rinpoche (Mount Kailash), which is sacred to three religions of the world. The Hindus, Buddhists and followers of Tibet's native religion, Bon, consider Gang Rinpoche to be sacred. For the Hindus, Gang Rinpoche is the symbol of Mount Meru, the centre of the Hindu universe. For Tibetan Buddhists it is the abode of Dernchog and his consort. For Tibet's followers of the Bon religion it is equally sacred. 09

For China to give permission and for a group of Spanish mountaineers to seek permission to scale the sacred mountain is a clear disrespect of the religious sentiments of the followers of three major religions in the world. We urge the group of Spanish mountaineers to desist from this outrageous adventure, especially in view of the glaring fact that the freedom of religious worship in Tibet is so violently trampled upon by the Chinese authorities. To treat one of the world's most worshipped mountains as an item of sport will constitute a gross insensitivity to the religious sentiments of the Tibetan people and beyond."

Mountain Wilderness International, fully supported by its National Associations in Switzerland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Slovenia, and Greece - endorses throughout the words of condemnation expressed by the highest Buddhist authority of Tibet;

- asks the Chinese Authorities and particularly the hineseMountaineering Association to withdraw in duerse the permit granted;

- denounces with indignation the lightmindedness of a group of mountaineers, who do not hesitate to embark on a project considered sacrilegious by millions of fellow human beings, in the egocentric pursuit of their self-glorification; - is of the opinion that the statement made by Mr NovE0s to the effect that the climb on Mount Kailash would bring different cultures closer together, in the name of an unspecified protection of the environment, is utterly ridiculous and devoid of any logic; - takes the opportunity of this disturbing event to stress once more the importance to keep some peaks of our Earth unexplored and untouched. Quite apart from any religious meaning they may have, they are symbols of a culture of adventure capable of sublimating within each of us our yearning to explore the unknown and able to renounce a conquest for the sake of not losing touch with the ever lasting value of mystery; - strongly requests the mountaineering associations of the world to ask UIAA to expel from their midst the Chinese Mountaineering Association, should the latter not withdraw this disrespectful permit; - requests the expulsion of Mr Martinez NovE0s and the other members of the expedition from any recognized mountaineering association, should they not renounce unilaterally their plan to climb mount Kailash; - finally, recommends that all mountaineers who have in mind climbs from the Tibetan side of the Himalayas or from Sinkiang, renounce their plans as a sign of protest, should the permit not be withdrawn.

Mountain Wilderness International The Coordinator General (Carlo Alberto Pinelli)

Rome 15-05-2001

Mountain Wilderness International Executive Office Via Nepi,
13 I - 00191, ROME
fax +39 06 3336640
email: mount_wild_intl@virgilio.it

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