China Will Reopen Tibet to Tourists (Updated)
The Chinese government will reopen Tibet to foreign tourists on April 5 after a nearly six-week ban, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua.
Foreign tourists were barred from visiting Tibet in late February before the 50th anniversary of a failed rebellion against Chinese rule. Security was stepped up in the Tibet Autonomous Region and border areas. The anniversary passed on Saturday without serious unrest.
Update: The Dalai Lama has called on the Chinese government to open Tibet to tourists and journalists. From Bloomberg:
At a press conference in New Delhi on the 50th anniversary of his arrival in India as a refugee, Tibet’s Buddhist spiritual leader accused China of covering up violent oppression of its 6 million Tibetans. He criticized its suppression of a video this month that his government in exile says shows Chinese policemen beating a Tibetan, who died last year from his injuries.
China accused the exile government of fabricating the video and blocked the YouTube Web site, which posted it. The Dalai Lama, whose aides reaffirmed the video’s authenticity, said family members of the dead man, a China Mobile Limited employee named Tendar, have disappeared.
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, has said Tendar was beaten after attacking a policeman with a knife and died of an unidentified disease, rather than his injuries.
“If conditions in Tibet are really good, there is no reason to expel all the foreigners, all the tourists, all the media people,” the Dalai Lama said. China has barred or detained at least 10 reporters for foreign news organizations who tried to visit ethnic Tibetan regions, the Foreign Correspondents Club of China said this month.