DHARAMSHALA: The Central Tibetan Administration is deeply concerned over the Chinese government’s measures to shut Tibet’s door to the outside world amid its crackdown on Tibetans in capital Lhasa after the self-immolation protests spread there for the first time on 27 May.
Besides imposing ban on foreign travellers to Tibet for an unspecified time, the Chinese government has deployed thousands of troops in capital Lhasa. The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that “Lhasa resembled an armed camp with the deployment of over 3,000 troops.”
In the crackdown following the self-immolations in Lhasa, Chinese authorities arbitrarily arrested hundreds of Tibetans by mainly targeting those from Amdo and Kham provinces. Amnesty International said in its 1 June statement that many of those arrested are being held at Tsel Gungthang prison and other sites in Lhasa. “Massively cracking down on the population in Lhasa is not a solution to the broad unrest we are seeing among Tibetans. The recent string of self-immolations by Tibetans has been fuelled by years of repressive policies that violate fundamental freedoms in the region,” Amnesty International stated.
“Closing Tibet’s door to the outside world and stifling the voices of Tibetans through force will not bring an end to the deepening crisis in Tibet. Instead, the Chinese leadership must address the root causes of Tibetan grievances through dialogue,” said Kalon Dicki Chhoyang of the Department of Information & International Relations.
Since February 2009, nearly 40 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese government’s repressive policies. They have called for freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his homeland. (Fact Sheet on Tibetan Self-Immolation Incidents)