Controversial Bangladesh-born writer Taslima Nasreen had to cancel her visit to Nepal to attend the country's first literature festival after her contentious tweet generated negative buzz here.
“I am sad, but I had to cancel the flight as I did not want any unpleasant incident to happen in Nepal,” Ms. Nasreen, who has been living in exile since 1994, wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter on Sunday.
Ms. Nasreen, 48, who currently resides in New Delhi, was to arrive in Kathmandu on Saturday to attend the literature festival, but she missed her flight at the Delhi Airport as she forgot to bring her Swedish passport.
“My Nepali friends, I missed my flight to go to Kathmandu today. I forgot to bring my passport as I didn’t consider Nepal a foreign country!” she wrote on her Twitter page.
The comment offended many of her Nepali followers on the micro-blogging site who ridiculed her lack of knowledge about world geography and expressed anger over what they said was her assumption that Nepal was a part of India.
The organisers of the four-day festival asked Ms. Nasreen to cancel her trip as they were unable to guarantee her safety in the wake of possible protests by some Nepalese activists.
“As people protested through Twitter regarding her views, she decided to cancel the flight on our advice,” Director of the Nepal Literary Festival Ajit Baral said.
“We advised Nasreen not to visit Nepal at this moment as we could not provide her safety in the wake of possible protests by some Nepalese activists,” Mr. Baral said.
“Some people were even planning to show black flag upon her arrival here,” he said.
Ms. Nasreen was to speak about her book ‘My Writing Life’ during the four-day literary festival that has drawn some 60 literary personalities from Nepal and abroad.