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China making life tough for Tibetans it had encouraged to return home

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul27’22) – After having encouraged them to return to what it touts as a developed and prosperous homeland from abroad, China is scrutinizing Tibetans on their personal loyalty and subjecting them to political education and harassment, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jul 26.

They are frequently summoned for questioning by Chinese authorities that have been monitoring them for signs of disloyalty or separatist sentiments while also receiving repeated queries by phone calls from them, the report said.

In the historically Tibetan counties of Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) and Ngaba (Aba) that are now parts of Qinghai and Sichuan Provinces respectively, recently returned Tibetans were suddenly called in by police. And they were asked about their possible involvement in political activities, the report cited an exile Tibetan with local contacts as saying.

“Frequent meetings are being held to tell them how to live ‘a decent life’ under Chinese government rule and to stay away from sensitive political issues, and they are also being questioned over the phone from time to time,” the source has said, speaking on condition of anonymity for safety reasons.

Under one programme, returnees from exile are said to be taken on excursions to Chinese cities to show them evidences of progress and development under Communist Party rule.

In Tibet’s capital Lhasa, Tibetans who had recently returned home from abroad are being subjected to especially tight scrutiny, with their cell phones regularly inspected and monitored and their movements restricted around politically sensitive dates like the Jul 6 birthday of the Dalai Lama, the report cited another exile source with local contacts as saying.

The report said all this was taking place at a time when China had escalated its efforts in recent years to bring Tibetans living in India and Nepal back to their homes from abroad. It cited cases of Tibetans in these two countries having been asked questions about their plans to return home and about their current occupation.

The report cited the case of an unnamed Tibetan man from Qinghai Province living in India having been offered money by the Chinese government during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, trying to convince him to return home, while also questioning his parents in his homeland.

In the historically Tibetan areas that are now part of Sichuan Province, Tibetans have been ordered to report to the authorities the cell phone numbers and social media accounts of their relatives living abroad, the report said.

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