Blogging from the Buddha Land: Cyber Sherpas

As a student of the Buddhist philosophy, I found the following article from the Great Lakes IT Report particularly interesting. Nepal is known as the Land of Buddha and is home to the largest and highest mountains in the world – the Himalayas – with the most renown being Mount Everest. Now, even in this very far and lofty corner of the world, the cyber-sherpas are out and about spreading the word of the internal difficulties that continue to plague this region. Yes, blogs have made it to this land of “scenic splendor and cultural treasures.�
I thought cyber-sherpas might be a good term to use because just like the sherpas who assist in regular expeditions to the summit of Everest, blogs are helping the cause, letting others know about what is going on in a part of the world that is still considered quite remote to many of us in the West.
Excerpted from the Great Lakes IT Report (Thursday, March 24, 2005). Editor: Matt Roush
“Bloggers covering Nepalese coup: Journalists in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest and most backward nations, are going hi-tech to sidestep tight censorship imposed after last month’s royal coup. Outspoken Web logs, or blogs, are springing up and being widely quoted and linked to in the “blogosphere” — the mushrooming cyberworld rapidly establishing a place for itself as an alternative source of news and information. “I feel that our very own survival, intellectually and mentally, depends on freedom,” says Dinesh Wagle, a newspaper journalist who runs United We Blog! (www.blog.com.np). “I don’t want to live like a dead soul. So these days I am blogging for a peaceful and democratic Nepal,” he told Reuters in an email interview.â€?
“King Gyanendra seized power on Feb. 1, arresting government and political leaders, rights activists and journalists. He also banned media criticism of his move, which he said was aimed at ending a nine-year Maoist revolt that has killed 11,000 people and shattered the tourism and aid-dependent economy. But United We Blog! and another popular blog, the anonymous Radio Free Nepal (http://freenepal.blogspot.com), publish interviews with arrested political leaders and news about anti-king protests that the mainstream media cannot.�

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