China tightens travel curbs in Tibet ahead of Winter Olympics

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China’s Information Service last week had announced that visitors to the country will be strictly monitored during the Olympic games….reports Asian Lite News

Chinese officials have tightened travel curbs in the Tibet region ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics and deployed a large police force in the regional capital Lhasa, a media report said.

Beijing is imposing restrictions on Tibetans’ movements in the areas by ramping up security in the region, Radio Free Asia reported citing a source.

China’s Information Service last week had announced that visitors to the country will be strictly monitored during the Olympic games.

“In just a few days, greater security and restrictions have been put in place in Tibetan areas of Lhasa and in Shigatse, Chamdo, Draggo, Ngaba, and Rebkong,” RFA quoted a source as saying.

Lhasa is witnessing the massive deployment of police and armed security personnel. People who are visiting the regional capital are being closely questioned, the source said on the condition of anonymity.

He also said that officials are also inspecting restaurants and shops.

A former resident of Sichuan province’s Draggo citing his local contacts said that Chinese authorities have also begun household inspections in these areas, according to RFA.

The massive security deployment and checks are being carried out by China soon before the Beijing Winter Olympics. The US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Lithuania have announced the diplomatic boycott of games.

Tibetan people hold vigil

Member of Tibetan communities on Tuesday held candlelight vigil here in solidarity with a critical situation in Kham Drago, Central Tibet and called China to end its repressive policies in the region.

“Today Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for Free Tibet organised this candlelight vigil to share our solidarity with Tibetans in Kham Drago, where the situation is very critical, where the Chinese government has implemented repressive policies, where the monasteries are demolished, schools are destroyed,” said a Tibetan who took part in the vigil.

“Recently in the Kham Drago, areas of Central Tibet, the Chinese government has destroyed a giant Buddhist statue. The statue is almost 600 feet statue of Buddha. And then, they also destroyed a monastery. So this vigil is s sign of China’s rising repression of Tibetan practice of Buddhism inside Tibet and this is not just happening in central Tibet that we got to know recently but in many other places,” said another Tibetan who took part in the vigil.

“So China’s attempt to destroy aspects of Tibetan Buddhism culture is their way of homogenising, criticising entire Tibet and not only Tibet, East Turkistan and southern Mongolia also. This is an attempt to Sinicise entire China and China’s occupied country,” he added.

Emphasising that such Chinese activities are a threat to Tibetan’s religion, culture and identity, the vigilant said that such acts by “China directly are contradictory to Beijing’s promise of autonomy or rights for what is called minorities to practice their religion and culture.”

“China is doing this even when their Winter Olympics is coming which is after two months.

So, therefore, we are protesting, we are leading this candle vigil, we are spreading awareness of this and we are telling China to stop the repression in Tibet,” he added. (ANI)

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