News and Views on Tibet

China intensifies restrictions ahead of the 64th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day

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Yangtso in an undated photo (Photo/RFA)

By Tenzin Nyidon 

DHARAMSHALA, March 10: Ahead of the sensitive anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, Chinese authorities have imposed severe restrictions, and increased surveillance and crackdowns in parts of occupied Tibet- such, similar to intensified crackdowns and persecution that have taken place in the past.

Chinese officials have announced the closure of Jokhang Temple in Lhasa for Buddhist pilgrims from March 8 to 10, 2023, many say, in an attempt to avoid political incidents surrounding the politically sensitive anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, according to information received by Voice of Tibet.

The temple, which is a sacred site, has often been a site of protest by Tibetans to condemn China’s illegal occupation and invasion of their homeland in 1959, they said. A notice dated March 6 was pasted in public spaces in Lhasa announcing the closure of the Jokhang, further adding that the temple will reopen from March 11, a source cited by VoT said.  

Similarly, Chinese authorities have arrested a 26-years old Tibetan woman named Yangtso for having contacted Tibetans outside the so called Tibetan Autonomous Region ahead of the anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day, Radio Free Asia reported. Yangtso was arrested from her hometown, Shigatse, on March 2 by the local police in Namling County. Authorities have increased interrogation in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo by checking the cell phones of Tibetans as March 10 is approaching, sources told RFA.  

The report also noted that it is not clear what photos she had sent to whom, but the authorities in the TAR have issued warnings against having any contact with people outside of the TAR till March 10. “Yangtso’s family members have no contact with her at the moment,” the source further revealed.

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