Edmund Hillary seeks to revive Nepal's economy

He said that tourists could offer the best help as the country's economy had been devastated by recent political troubles.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 09:08 IST

The first man to conquer the world's tallest peak, Nepal's Mount Everest, has called for tourists to help revive the strife-torn Himalayan nation's economy in the wake of recent violent protests by pro-democracy activists.

Sir Edmund Hillary, speaking to a TV channel from Nepal late on Monday, said that with the country's economy devastated by the recent political troubles, tourists could offer the best practical help to ordinary citizens.

His call came as new Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala met leaders of the seven main political parties that spearheaded three weeks of demonstrations, forcing King Gyanendra to yield absolute control of the Himalayan state last week.

Hillary's son, Peter Hillary, said on Tuesday his father was in Nepal on a trip that had been delayed because of the demonstrations, but that he would spend about a week in the mountainous nation.

The death toll among protesters reached 17 on Monday after an activist died of head wounds from a police baton on April 21, said Dr Sambhu Upadhay of Katmandu's Model Hospital.

With climbing companion Sherpa Tensing Norgay, Hillary had conquered Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

First Published: May 02, 2006 09:08 IST