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Tibetan quarter in Chengdu under tight surveillance on uprising anniversary

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(TibetanReview.net, Mar16’24) — As Tibetans and supporters across the free world commemorated the 65th anniversary of their national uprising on Mar 10, there was total blackout on information from Tibet itself as China greatly tightens security ahead of the occasion each year. The security situation was the same in the Tibetan quarter of Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan province, according to the japannews.yomiuri.co.jp Mar 16.

The report said: “In one area of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, a line of shops sells Tibetan Buddhist altar objects and Tibetan-language books. During a visit in mid-February, heavily armed police officers could be seen stationed at every corner of an intersection, keeping a watchful eye on Tibetan monks and residents.”

It added that there were many surveillance cameras.

The report found that upon entering a shop for Buddhist objects, there were noticeably more signs written in Chinese than in Tibetan, a result of China’s ongoing Sinicization drive.

The report quoted a monk shopping in the store as saying in a low voice, “We have to preserve our religion and culture.”

Chengdu is home to a large community of Tibetans, with at least 30,000 permanent Tibetan residents and up to 200,000 Tibetan floating population, according to a report by China’s official Xinhua news agency back on Mar 14, 2012 cited in a wikipedia page on Sichuan.

Seen as a gateway to Tibet and located about 2.5 km south west of the city centre, two other Chengdu landmarks in the area appear to have been the reason for the growth of the Tibetan Quarter, said echinacities.com on its page on Chengdu’s Tibetan Quarter – Gateway to Tibet. These are stated to be the Kangding Hotel and the South West University of Nationalities. The university offers courses delivered in Tibetan language, and many Tibetan students take advantage of this, it said.

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