The Nepalese government is to confer honorary citizenship on Sir Edmund Hillary
to mark the golden jubilee of the first ascent of world's tallest peak, Mount
Everest, officials said Sunday.
HISTORICAL MOMENT ... this picture dated July
3, 1953 of Mount Everest conquerors Hillary (right) and Norgay at London's
Heathrow Airport upon their arrival from the expedition. - AFP photo
Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand was
expected to make a formal decision on Monday after a recommendation from the
home ministry, tourism officials said. Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were
the first to reach the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,028foot) mountain on May
will be in Nepal for the jubilee celebrations.
Hillary and his wife will be honoured as distinguished guests, while Nepal is
celebrating the Mount Everest Golden Jubilee, at a civic reception on, May 27 to
be organised by the Kathmandu Metropolitan Corporation," an official said.
Junko Tabei, the first woman to scale Everest in 1975, Reinhold Messner and
Peter Habeler, who were the first to climb without the help of supplementary
oxygen in 1978, and Apa Sherpa, who has reached the peak a record 12 times, will
all attend the reception, the officials said.
they will be carried through the streets of Kathmandu in horse-driven carriages.
said up to 500 Everest conquerors will join in the official celebrations.
none of the 35 Chinese who have climbed the mountain will be attending because
of the threat of SARS, while only seven of the 40 or so Japanese conquerors will
be there, organisers said.
said the celebrations would kick off on May 24 with a festival of prayers and
traditional dancing in front of the Royal Palace organised by the Hotel
Association of Nepal and other travel groups.
festivals will be held on May 25 in Lalitpur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, and
on May 26 and 27 in other areas of the city.
"open dinner" for the conqerors has been organised on May 27 at the
renowned Rum Doodle restaurant where many mountaineers eat, owner Tek Chand
Pokharel told AFP.
May 28 saplings will be planted at the International Mountaineers Memorial Park
at Kakani, 36 kilometres (22 miles) northwest of Kathmandu. On the day of the
anniversary, King Gyanendra will meet the summitters at a special gathering at
the Birendra International Conference Hall, followed by a gala dinner.
final festivities will be on May 31 with a music festival in Kathmandu. - AFP