By Tenzin Dharpo
Chinese army parade in front of Potala palace, Lhasa, file photo
DHARAMSHALA, August 20: With the 50th anniversary of Tibetan Autonomous Region approaching, a new campaign to inspect and monitor the postal exchanges between Beijing and Tibetan Autonomous region has begun, according to a new report by Dharamsala based rights group, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.
The new campaign ‘Clean Sweep and Strike’ enables Chinese authorities to check the contents and personal effects sent through posts between TAR and Beijing and both the sender and receiver of any particular post to be registered and subject to investigation under the pretext of security, the TCHRD said.
Items such as arms and ammunitions, knives, explosives, including dangerous chemicals and political publications are on the banned list. Even remote controlled miniature toy planes are banned to be flown over the cityscape and the internet activities already under increased surveillance.
Implementation of the operation began on August 11 when the State Post Bureau of the People’s Republic of China sent an official circular to provincial, regional, and township bureaus with stern instructions for strict control over all channels of communication.
The Chinese authorities have warranted the need for such action citing security precaution ahead of three important events in the PRC calendar, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Championships (22 to 30 August) in Beijing, the 50th founding anniversary of TAR (1 September )and the 70th anniversary of allied victory over Japan ( 3 September).
With a prime party-line event in sights, the anniversary organizing committee and the Chinese Central Propaganda Department along with its mouthpiece establishments such as China National Radio, China International Radio, and China Central Television (CCTV) held a meeting on August 1 to mull over the details on covering the event.
“We should carry out a sophisticated, systematic, free-flowing publicity campaigns that will create an image of a harmonious and stable Tibet within the country and abroad,” Cui Yuying, deputy minister of the Propaganda Department and deputy director of Information Office of the State Council had said.
The capital Beijing is being turned into a fortress with International and domestic airports scheduled to be closed for several hours every day till September 3.