Free Tibet’s research partner Tibet Watch has learned that Tibetans from eastern Tibet are not allowed to travel to other areas of Tibet until April as the historic 62nd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day on 10 March this year nears. The Chinese authorities are intensifying even more restrictions on Tibetans who live already under hyper-surveillance measures enforced since the 10 March Uprising of 2008.
Tibetan nomads, farmers, and the general public in Yushul and Tsongon in eastern Tibetan province of Amdo have been banned from travelling to other parts of Tibet until April.
As is the case with every year around the time of Tibetan National Uprising Day, the Chinese government has intensified security and surveillance measures in many areas of Tibet. Moreover, the security personnel has started checking vehicles on the highways connecting Yushul and Xining, and other neighbouring areas.
A source from the region said, “Residents in Tsongon and Yushul have been ordered not to travel anywhere and if one must, one is required to register to the local welfare office”.
The increased restrictions are not only implemented in Yushul and Tsongon areas but also in areas like Nyintri in central Tibet. On the huge bridge in Metok county in Nyingtri, the Chinese police have started inspecting vehicles. Anyone travelling must produce documents like a social security card, a bonafide letter from the residential office, and a recent photo of the traveller.
An anonymous source residing in Lhasa cautioned, “Do not contact for a few months now. The weather (coded language for bad political climate) is bad these days”. In a recent picture, the front ground of Jokhang Temple shows heavy police and military personnel everywhere. Chinese Communist Party enforces what it calls “stability” through military troops and plain-clothed spies. Such an atmosphere is almost an everyday scene in Tibet and especially in Lhasa. These restrictive measures, however, make Tibetans doubtful of the people around them and fear for their safety.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch