Patrice Riemens on Thu, 15 May 1997 11:08:51 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Not Yet Dead Media (good) News

>From The Statesman weekly, Calcutta, 26 april 1997.

Anindya Sengupta/Statesman News Service

CALCUTTA, April 21. - Tibetans staying in India will no longer have to
wait months for their letters from home to reach them.
	Mail will now cross the Himalayas directly, through the Nathula
Pass on the Indo-Chinese border near Gangtok (Sikkim), and take only 48 to
72 hours.
	The Union home ministry had long been seeking ways to improve
relations with China. The new postal route will help, officials believe.
	The previous route was extremely complex.  For exemple, mail from
Chennai (Madras) would be bought to Calcutta airport and put on a Hong
Kong-bound flight. It would then reach Beijing, Shanghai, Lhassa and
	Now, Tibetans' post from all over India will be brought to
Calcutta and put on a flight to Bagdogra. From there it will be carried to
	The Indian Army will then drive the mail 52 km to the Indo-Chinese
border at Nathula, and hand it over to the Chinese Army. Every day, around
noon, mail will be exchanged.
	Senior police and Intelligence officers recently visited the pass
to supervise the arrangements made by both countries.
	The Chinese Army is stationned close to the pass, at Chang-Tu in
Tibet. But the Indian soldiers, stationed at Gangtok, will have a trying
time reaching Nathula because of the altitude and the steep 10.000-foot
climb, officials said.
	The difficult journey over rough and rocky terrain will take at
least six hours, they said. The roads are covered with heavy snow, and
army vehicles had to wound iron chains round the wheels to prevent them
from skidding.
Your correspondent adds: The Indian Single Letter Foreign Surface rate is
Rs 6,50 (18 US cents)
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