(TibetanReview.net, Oct18’22) – After Covid lockdown, which began in early August, residents in Tibet’s capital Lhasa are now said to be under a week-long 20th national congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lock in. President Xi Jinping, in his role as the General Secretary of the CPC, was presenting his work report for the past one decade and his vision for the next five years during his historic, all but confirmed third five-year term in office at the weeklong congress which opened in Beijing on Oct 16.
The requirement is apparently being enforced as a political education of the masses, as seems to be the case in Mainland China as well.
Chinese authorities have ordered Tibetan residents of Lhasa to tune in to television coverage of the congress, forbidding them from leaving their homes until the sessions ended, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Oct 17, citing local residents.
The residents are now confined to their homes so they can pay close attention to speeches given by China’s President Xi Jinping and other top leaders, one source has said.
The report said monasteries and schools in Tibetan territories merged with Chinese provinces have also been instructed to watch the week-long proceedings, the report cited Tibetan sources as saying.
The lock-in is seen to be enforced with the strictness akin to that for the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
“A few days ahead of the meeting, one person from each family was allowed to go out to pick up groceries and other essentials, but now no one is allowed to leave their home,” one source has said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
The report said Buddhist monks in Ngaba (or Ngawa, Chinese: Aba) and Kardze (Ganzi) prefectures of Sichuan Province and Golog (Guoluo) Prefectures of Qinghai Province were under similar lock-in restrictions.
Also, “all the schools in the Ngaba, Khyungchu (Hongyuan), and Dzamthang (Rangtang) region have been instructed to watch the Party Congress meetings from the beginning,” the report quoted another anonymous local source as saying.
Ordering residents out of the streets also serves the obvious purpose of pre-empting protests, which is feared by the authorities during every such occasion.
China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Oct 17 reported on or showed a series of photos of people in China and Tibet watching livestreaming of the congress, sitting on neatly arranged rows of chairs and dressed in their traditional best in some cases. The coverage in Tibet Autonomous Region included those from villages in Dingri county at the foot of Mt Everest; Purang, home to the sacred Mt Kailash; and Yuljuk village in the Drakyib district of Nyingchi (Nyingchi) City.
In China itself, the report said, for example, two Tianjin-based branches of China Construction organized staff members, including engineers on the construction project sites, to watch the opening session.
And it quoted Wang Jin, president of China Construction Sixth Bureau Corp, as saying: “The report (presented by Xi Jinping at the Congress) put forward a series of new concepts, theories, thoughts, strategies and demands, which have given us new direction for advancement and fundamental guidelines. So we will begin a new round of studies and solid actions to implement the spirit of the congress.”