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Taslima's passport tweet angers Nepal

world Updated: Aug 22, 2011 00:49 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin who has been living in exile since 1994 has tweeted herself to a new controversy in Nepal.

The author was to arrive in Kathmandu on Saturday to attend the country’s first literature festival, but a post on Twitter has ensured she won’t come visiting anytime soon.

Nasrin who currently resides in New Delhi missed her flight to Kathmandu on Saturday as she forgot to bring her Swedish passport. Airport authorities didn’t let her board the flight.

"My Nepali friends, I missed my flight to go to Kathmandu today. I forgot to bring my passport as I didn’t consider Nepal a foreign country!" she soon wrote on her Twitter page.

The comment offended many of her Nepali followers on the micro-blogging site who ridiculed her lack of knowledge about world geography and blamed her of thinking that Nepal was a part of India.

Nasrin was shocked and hurt that her Nepali friends were offended by her "feeling of closeness 2 (to) Nepal".

Undeterred she planned to arrive here on Sunday to take part in the last day of the festival but that also had to be shelved due to adverse reaction to the tweet and concerns about her safety.

Organizers of the festival asked Nasrin to cancel her trip as they didn’t want any controversy and were unable to guarantee her the kind of security she had sought to make an appearance.

"Many Nepalis were offended by her comment and some were planning to hold protests. We were worried about her safety and asked her to cancel the trip,” festival director Ajit Baral told HT.

The literature festival modeled on the popular Jaipur literature festival has witnessed the biggest gathering of Nepali writers and others like former BBC India bureau chief Mark Tully and novelist Ira Trivedi.

Meanwhile Nasrin tweeted--"I’ll always love you, Nepal. I’ll long for the touch of your hand. I’ll wait to see your beauty I haven’t seen yet,"---that wait could now be a long one.

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