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Nepal U-turn on gays – Times Online

Nepal U-turn on gays – Times Online

“We’re completely changing this country. It’s a newborn republic — and we want to showcase this change,” Sharat Singh Bhandari, the Tourism Minister, told The Times. “We also want to re-establish tourism as a major industry.” He aims to attract one million tourists in 2011, more than double the number last year.

He kicked off the marketing campaign in October with a written message to the International Conference on Gay & Lesbian Tourism in Boston — an unprecedented gesture for an Asian minister. “As the world knows, Nepal is the land of Mount Everest, world’s highest peak and the birth place of Lord Buddha, light of Asia,” the message said. “I, therefore, would like to take this opportunity to invite and welcome all the sexual and gender minorities from around the world.”

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