Restaurants close in Nepal resort town over wages

Fri Jan 9, 2009 5:29am EST
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KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Hotels in a resort town in west Nepal urged tourists and guests to leave as a crippling strike by restaurant workers entered a third day on Friday.

Govinda Pahadi, chief of the Hotel Association of Nepal in Pokhara, said workers close to the ruling Maoists had locked restaurants and their offices since Wednesday, demanding higher wages leaving tourists without their normal meals.

"When we can't feed our guests how can we keep them with us hungry," Pahadi said from Pokhara, a popular tourist resort, 125 km (80 miles) west of Kathmandu.

Pokhara is the gateway for thousands of Western mountaineers and trekkers who go to the scenic Annapurna mountain ranges. More than 125,000 tourists visited Pokhara in 2007.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar)