Reported by Sangyal Kunchok and Lobsang Gelek. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA Tibetan. Written in English by Richard Finney.
Tibetans returning from exile to their home regions in Tibet are being summoned for questioning by Chinese authorities watching for signs of disloyalty or separatist sentiment, Tibetan sources say.
Returnees living in Golog (Chinese, Guoluo) and Ngaba (Aba) counties, Tibetan-populated regions in western China’s Qinghai province, have recently been called in by police without warning, a Tibetan living in exile told RFA this week.
“They are being asked about possible involvement in political activities,” RFA’s source said, citing contacts in the region and speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons.
“Frequent meetings are being held to tell them how to live ‘a decent life’ under Chinese government rule and to stay away from sensitive political issues, and they are also being questioned over the phone from time to time,” the source said.
As part of a broadening Chinese campaign of political education, Tibetans returning from exile to their former homes have been taken on excursions to Chinese cities to show them what the authorities call evidence of progress and development under Communist Party rule, the source added.
Tibetans returning from exile to Tibet’s regional capital Lhasa are kept under particular scrutiny, another source in exile said, with their cell phones regularly inspected and monitored and their movements restricted around politically sensitive dates like the July 6 birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Efforts by China to bring Tibetans back to Tibet have escalated in recent years, with Chinese authorities reaching out to Tibetans living in India and Nepal about their plans to return and asking them what kind of work they are currently doing, sources say.
“The Chinese government tried to send me money back when India was experiencing its worst wave of COVID cases, but I wouldn’t take their money,” said a Tibetan man now living in India but formerly from Qinghai. “They called me and tried to convince me to return, and they also interrogated my parents at their homes back in Tibet,” he added.
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