UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 002140
BEIJING FOR CHRIS KLEIN PLEASE PASS TO CODEL SPECTER
DEPT FOR SCA/INS, H (MCSMITH AND JCARTER)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN NP
SUBJECT: WELCOME MESSAGE FOR CODEL SPECTER
REF: SECSTATE 118952
Welcome To Kathmandu
Â¶1. (SBU) Embassy Kathmandu warmly welcomes the August 12-14
visit of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Mrs. Specter
and staff to Kathmandu.
Â¶2. (SBU) Overall control officer for this delegation will be
Political/Economic Section Chief Bill Martin. He can be
reached 24/7 via the Embassy switchboard at 977-1-441-1179,
via mobile phone at 977-98510-27951, at his home at
977-1-472-0759, or via email at MartinWS@state.gov. The
control officer and expediter will meet the delegation upon
arrival and provide transportation.
Â¶3. (SBU) Post has made reservations at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel in Kathmandu, with a room rate of 80 USD/night for a
single and 85 USD/night for a double (within per diem),
inclusive of breakfast. There is an additional 13 percent
VAT on the room. The phone number at the Hyatt Regency is
977-1-449-1234 and the fax number is 977-1-449-0033.
Reservations may be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to
occupancy without penalty.
Â¶4. (U) Post will support the delegation's communications
(including four international cell phones as requested),
transportation and administrative needs.
Â¶5. (SBU) Post will provide a revised schedule septel.
Visas and Immigration
Â¶6. (U) A visa is necessary for all U.S. travelers to Nepal
and should be obtained in advance if possible. If traveler
is unable to obtain a visa before departure, an airport visa
may be obtained upon arrival. A single-entry visa valid for
a 60-day stay may be obtained by diplomatic, official, and
tourist passport holders at the airport for 30 USD (payable
in US currency). To facilitate the issue of an airport visa,
traveler will need one passport-size photograph and will be
required to complete an application form upon arrival.
Â¶7. (U) All departing travelers are required to pay an airport
embarkation service fee of Nepali Rupees 1,356 (approx. 18
USD) if traveling to India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri
Lanka, or Bangladesh, or Nepali Rupees 1,695 (approx. 23 USD)
for all other international destinations.
Â¶8. (U) Respiratory and intestinal problems are common in
Nepal. Visitors must exercise great care in what they eat
and drink; food and water-borne diseases are common. All tap
water in Kathmandu and most other areas of Nepal is
contaminated. Travelers are advised to drink only water that
has been filtered and boiled, and to exercise caution with
bottled water (it can also be contaminated). Bottled drinks
(soft drinks and beer) are generally safe; ice is not.
Travelers are advised to use only treated water when brushing
their teeth and rinsing out their toothbrush, and to keep
their mouths closed when showering. Travelers should avoid
eating/drinking from wet plates, utensils, and cups. It is
advised to eat freshly prepared food, i.e., well-cooked and
served hot. Cold food, especially dairy products, should be
kept refrigerated and served cold. Meats, poultry, fish, and
eggs should be well-cooked and served hot. Only fruits and
vegetables that have been cooked or peeled should be eaten.
Street food should be avoided due to poor sanitation. The
following vaccinations are strongly recommended: Hepatitis A;
Hepatitis B; Tetanus; Typhoid; Rabies; Japanese B
Encephalitis. Malaria prophylaxis is needed only if there
will be travel to the Terai, the lowland areas bordering
India. Local medical facilities are sub-standard, except for
a few outpatient clinics in Kathmandu.
Â¶9. (SBU) The State Department has classified the crime threat
in Kathmandu as high. Pick pocketing, purse snatching and
other forms of street crime occur frequently, especially in
KATHMANDU 00002140 002 OF 002
areas frequented by tourists. Visitors should avoid walking
alone after dark, carrying large sums of money, or wearing
expensive jewelry. Valuables should be stored in
safety-deposit boxes and should not be left unattended in
hotel rooms. The Embassy's 24-hour emergency number
(441-0531) should be kept handy, particularly when going out
into the street.
Â¶10. (SBU) Since February 1996, Nepal has suffered a Maoist
insurgency. While the Maoists have targeted primarily
Nepalese Government and business facilities, there have been
a number of attacks against organizations and companies
associated with foreign interests. Large demonstrations in
Kathmandu and elsewhere in Nepal often occur without notice.
Relatively high levels of security exist inside the Kathmandu
Valley, political agitation by students and party activists
notwithstanding. There currently is a cease-fire between the
government and the Maoists, but violence and clashes between
Maoist and security forces are still possible. All U.S.
Government personnel and contractors wishing to travel
outside the Kathmandu Valley for official or personal reasons
must obtain special permission from the RSO. For certain
districts, travel will be during daylight hours and for
official business only.
Â¶11. (U) During the months of June through mid-September, the
Kathmandu Valley is wet with monsoon rains; temperatures
rarely exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain showers occur
almost daily and tend to fall in the afternoon. The
temperature during the day ranges from 26 to 30 Celsius
(78-86 degrees Fahrenheit). At night, the temperature cools
down to about 18 to 21 Celsius (64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit).
Â¶12. (SBU) Post looks forward to the upcoming visit of Senator
and Mrs. Specter and staff.