By Tenzin Sangmo
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu Nepal
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 2: Tibetan pilgrims from Tibet touring in India and Nepal have been asked to rush back to Tibet failing which warnings of repercussions have been issued.
According to reports, lately, with cold weather freezing all activities in Tso Nyön region in Xainza county, many local Tibetans from the area have managed to acquire passports to go on pilgrimage to Nepal and elsewhere.
According to Tibet Times
, one such Tibetan informed exile media that everyone with passports was restricted from travelling and only 1000 of the 6,000 yuan they paid for tickets per head was returned.
As for the Tibetan pilgrims already in Nepal, their families have started receiving repeated calls from local authorities in their hometown for the swift return of the pilgrims within three days’ time. The order threatens that failing to do so will result in cancellation of the passports making it impossible to return.
It was learned that Tibetan pilgrims from other regions in Tibet were issued the same order.
For several years in a row, around this time, China had refused to issue passports, restricted travel, ordered the swift return of pilgrims before the due date.
Threats of losing government jobs, being fired from schools and other punishments have seen thousands rush back in fear in the past.
At His Holiness teaching this year, barely 100 Tibetans from inside Tibet made it to Bodh Gaya, India, because of heightened restrictions on travel.
According to Tibet.net, a group of UN Experts last year expressed ‘serious concern over the policies and legislation of the two-track passport system specifically targeting and discriminating against members of the Tibetan minority’.
The latest development points to an unrelenting restriction on freedom of movement of Tibetans inside Tibet.