Marianne Grosspietsch trembles with the Shanti staff. The situation in Nepal is volatile: Today there is a massive demonstration over the request for King Gyanendras’ resignation. The Dortmund citizen wants the Dalai Lama to petition for help.

The sixth casualty and the arrest of 250 Professors: That was the latest news on Wednesday form Nepal. After the second week of general strikes the citizens of Nepal today converge for a large-scale demonstration to break the authoritarian leadership of King Gyanendra, Marianne Großpietsch trembles along with all of the staff in the Clinics, Reha workshops, Kindergarden and other facilities of the Shanti Leper Help.

At the moment she cannot be on site, the Department of Foreign Affairs has urgently advised departure from Nepal, nevertheless the King is trying by every means to stay in power. Daily she phones Kathmandu to find out about the fighting near the Shanti station where the labourers try to continue operating the Soup Kitchen where 1000 meals a day are distributed. "Vegetables have from one morning to the next become 100 percent more expensive", she said. So when the night curfew ends, the Shanti staffs’ mornings begin with them riding three motorcycles to a private piece of land to try to bring the vegetable salvation to the station. "Nobody drives a car, because they are afraid that it will be demolished or set alight." The cooking petroleum is also secretly purchased.

"The population move toward the Police with white flowers – and they smash their skulls", Marianne Großpietsch stated. That the injured are helped in the clinic has to be concealed. "We declare patients with skull injuries as accidents." Doctors are also arrested. "The government stokes the conflict. On Tuesday soldiers in plain-clothes were found throwing large quantities of grenades."

Marianne Großpietsch hopes that the King goes into exile and that Nepal can become a republic. Although then there is the threat of large-scale conflict with the Maoists who would like to establish a regime similar to the model of the Cambodian dictator Pol Pot, she thinks about tomorrow. And about how the poor can be helped, who have neither sufficient food nor clean water and no medical supply at all. She collects further donations in order to be able to buy land.

And Marianne Großpietsch wants to write to the Dalai Lama. "The Buddhist cloisters are rich", she says. Perhaps it is now time that the Tibetans which have found acceptance in Nepal would give a little back in return to the Nepalese for their hospitality.

Drinking Water

The latest initiative from Marianne Grosspietsch (62) is wells. In the slums of Kathmandu the drinking water is contaminated, every summer there are outbreaks of Cholera and typhoid. A well can provide 500 people with ten litres of cleaned water daily.

For more information about Shanti visit www.shanti-leprahilfe.de.

Donations: Konto Nr. 17 777 13, Deutschen Bank, BLZ 440 700 24.