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Security tightened, temples shut in Lhasa during China’s National Day holiday

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct10’23) – China marked its communist party-state founding day holiday from Oct 1 to 8 in Tibet’s capital Lhasa by tightening security, including by imposing movement restrictions, closing to the public the major religious sites, and subjecting the monastic community to political education, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Oct 9.

Officials declared 8 days of public holiday beginning Oct 1 to mark the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This was accompanied by shutting out Tibetans and others from the Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace and monasteries in the Tibetan capital.

Within these Tibetan places of worship and religious study, officials made monks to celebrate National Day on Oct 1 and also undergo political re-education.

Besides, the Lhasa Tsuglakhang Management Committee, which runs the Jokhang temple, was stated to have issued a notice on Oct 9, publicized on social media in Tibet, declaring Oct 10 an additional holiday during which religious sites would remain closed to the public.

The report said authorities also screened people traveling on public transportation. Those without proper documents were not allowed to stay in Lhasa, the report cited sources as saying.

Serving and retired Tibetans in Chinese government services as well as students were stated to have been ordered not to visit religious sites or go on pilgrimages upon pain of losing their jobs and pensions, or otherwise expulsion from their schools.

“Though it is normal for party cadres not to participate in religious activities in the Lhasa area, these days special restrictions are placed on students from taking part in religious activities,” the report quoted a source as saying, declining to be named due to fear of retribution from the Chinese government.

More than 1.9 million tourists, mainly from China, visited Lhasa during the National Day holiday, the report said, citing China’s official media.

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