(TibetanReview.net, Mar06, 2015) – China has greatly strengthened security in Qinghai and Tibetan areas of Gansu Provinces to pre-empt trouble during the upcoming 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) Mar 4. These included deployment of additional troops along with armoured personnel carriers and fire fighting equipments and vehicles.
An especially targeted area in Gansu is the Labrang Tashikyil Monastery in Sangchu (Chinese Xiahe) County where several hundred paramilitary police arrived just before a Mar 3 annual religious ceremony for unveiling a giant religious painting which attracts a large crowd.
“Many armored police vehicles have now moved into the area bringing several hundred police armed with rifles” to monitor the crowd, the report quoted a local source as saying. At least 12,000 Tibetans were reported to have gathered to witness the unveiling ceremony.
Two vehicles were reported to be equipped to spray teargas while there was also a water tanker. Drones were reported to be taking photos from above.
All Tibetans who were prefectural and county-level government employees, including as teachers, were ordered to report for work by Mar 2, even though their winter vacation was to end only on Mar 8, said another RFA report Mar 4. They were ordered to remain at their workplace at all times even though the schools were still on winter break.
In Qinghai Province too, large force deployments were reported to have been made in Machen (Maqin), Gade (Gande), and Pema (Banma) counties of Golog (Guoluo) Prefecture.
The troops have set up checkpoints at major crossroads and bridges, while new barracks have been put up in areas straddling the three counties to strictly inspect local Tibetans and passing vehicles.