Play about Tibetan refugees shelved ahead of PM’s China visit reopens in Nepal

DHARAMSALA, Oct 26: A play about Tibetan refugees reopens in Nepal today after it was shelved from a theatre in Kathmandu owing to pressure from the Nepalese government in June earlier this year.

Kora, a play depicting the woes of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal and India reopened today at Kausi Theatre in Nepal’s capital after five months and will continue staging from Oct 26-28.

The play was earlier staged from May 31 and was scheduled to run till June 14 at Shilpee Theatre in Kathmandu. But the board of the theatre decided to shut the play midway on June 8, after receiving warnings from Nepal’s MoFA ahead of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s visit to China in June earlier this year.

After the Nepalese government pressured the cancellation of the play from the theatre, the director of the play, Loonibha Tuladhar had to shut it down as she was worried about the safety of the cast and crew.

“The artist inside of me died. I was not able to sleep or eat. I chose to remain silent. I felt this was safe for everyone around me including my one baby boy,” she said.

The play is based on four poems—Horizon, Refugee, The Tibetan in Mumbai and Exile House written by Tibetan poet and activist Tenzin Tsundue.

Earlier in February, The Royal Court Theatre in London also shelved Abhishek Majumdar’s play Pah-la because of fears over an arts programme in Beijing. His play deals with life in contemporary Tibet and personal stories of Tibetans he worked with in India which is home to the Dalai Lama as well as the largest number of Tibetan refugees in exile.

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