By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, January 30: The Chinese government has announced that the Tibet Autonomous Region shall be shut down for all foreign travelers from February 25, days ahead of some politically sensitive anniversaries including the 2008 March uprising that rocked the plateau in the run up to Beijing Olympics.
According to a post of tripadvisor, the entire TAR will be closed from February 25 to March 30 with the authorities issuing a notice to all major cities and counties that all foreign visitors must leave the region by the deadline.
It is not known when the region, which strongly depends of tourism industry, will reopen for backpackers. However, travel agencies expect that the first week of April might be the likely date for the reopening of the region for tourism.
Phelim Kine, Deputy Director, Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division Tweets, “Something to hide?” after the Chinese government’s move to bar all foreign visitors.
According to the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) 2300 Tibetans were arrested by the Chinese authorities aTibetans from various parts of Tibet in 2008. Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) claims more than 140 people were killed in the crackdown though some sources put the number even higher.
Since 2009, a staggering 143 Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation as a form of protest against the Chinese rule in Tibet.