Tibetan visitors to Lhasa face severe scrutiny ahead of 60th uprising anniversary

File photo: Chinese paramilitary police patrolled a street in southwestern Sichuan province. Security forces have been placed on high alert in many areas. (Photo courtesy: Ng Han Guan/AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Mar06’19) – Tibetan pilgrims from Kham and Amdo in what are now parts of Sichuan, Yunnan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces are still being allowed to visit Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) where China has greatly tightened security measures ahead of the 60th Tibetan National Uprising Day on Mar 10. However, they are being subjected to tight surveillance and frequent intimidating questionings especially in capital Lhasa, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Mar 4.

The visitors are interrogated on the reasons for their visit during this month, asked how long they planned to stay in the city, and told to provide details regarding the names and addresses of their hosts, the report said, citing an anonymous city resident.

“They are also being asked to keep their mobile phones switched on at all times, and are being reminded to strictly abide by the law and not to become involved in any activities considered to be harmful to [China’s] national security,” the report quoted the man as saying.

But many Tibetans from those areas doing business in Lhasa are reported to be leaving for now due to the increased atmosphere of fear and intimidation. “They fear being wrongly accused by China of taking part in any protests that may take place to mark the anniversaries,” the source was quoted as saying.

“All the areas around the Barkor city centre and the Potala Palace are now heavily guarded by both uniformed and plainclothes Chinese security personnel,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the politically sensitive spots in the Tibetan capital.

China has already banned all foreigners other than Chinese from the mainland from visiting the TAR from Feb 10 to Apr 1. As in past years since 2008, it has not officially announced or confirmed the ban.


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