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Continued: Sherpas consider climbing boycott after Everest avalanche as funerals are held for victims

  • Article by: BINAJ GURUBACHARYA , Associated Press
  • Last update: April 21, 2014 - 9:35 AM

The Sherpas want the minimum insurance payment for those killed on Everest to be doubled to 2 million rupees ($20,800), and a portion of the climbing fee charged by the government to be reserved for a relief fund. They also want the government to build a monument in the capital in memory of those killed in the avalanche.

Government official Burlakoti said all these demands would be considered by the government. It has agreed to at least one demand, for a memorial to be built for the fallen Sherpas.

Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh said the government has been working to help the Sherpas since the rescue began. "We will do what we can, keeping with the standard practice to provide compensation," he said.

Sherpa Pasang of the Nepal National Mountain Guide Association said they have handed over a list of demands to the government seeking 1 million rupees ($10,400) each for the families of dead, missing and injured Sherpa guides in immediate financial aid. They also want assurance that the government will bring regulations to protect them in the future.

"The government has made no big response even after a big tragedy like this. Until they hear our pleas we will continue to put pressure," he said, adding they plan to meet top government officials later in the week.

Hundreds of people, both foreigners and Sherpas, have died trying to reach the summit, and about a quarter of the deaths occurred in avalanches, climbing officials say. The previous worst disaster on Everest had been a fierce blizzard on May 11, 1996, that killed eight climbers and was memorialized in a book, "Into Thin Air," by Jon Krakauer.

More than 4,000 climbers have reached the top of Everest since 1953, when the mountain was first conquered by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.

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