Lhasa Under Lockdown, June 2-14

Armed police in Lhasa.

Most foreigners, with some notable exceptions, will be allowed back in Tibet starting tomorrow. Foreigners were banned from visiting following two self-immolations in the capital, Lhasa, on May 27. What did Tibet look like during the ban?

Tibetan poet and activist Woeser compiled reports and photos from Lhasa and beyond via Weibo on her blog. One of the original signatories of Charter 08, Woeser is currently under police surveillance in Beijing. She wrote an appeal to her fellow Tibetans this spring to “stay alive to struggle and push forward,” rather than end their lives in protest.

More comments and photos are available from CDT Chinese.


WeaselPauper: The train arrived on schedule in Lhasa. The most outstanding thing was that they didn’t check our tickets as we left the station, but instead our ID cards. The riot police carrying guns and the hoards of city police make you feel nervous, hinting at the lack of peace. (June 2)

Desert-WolfKing: Lhasa is crawling with riot police. In gas stations, temples, power stations, intersections—everywhere there are riot police carrying guns. There are even armored cars in the pedestrian walkways. There are lots of places where you can’t take photos! (June 5)

ChenMengshengTravels: When taking pictures in front of the Potala Palace, you can’t sit or lie down on the ground. Otherwise Uncle Riot Police will come get you. (June 7)

CoolSummerBreeze: The Lhasa police all drive Infinitis. They sure do have money. (June 12)
夏天小凉风:拉萨武警当官的开私家车牌的INFINITI上班,真有钱啊 。(6月12日)

TuoZhenguo: When traveling in certain places in Ti_bet—Mount Everest, Ngari, Shannan, Yadong, Medog—you need a border pass in addition to your ID card in order to get past the border police. In Lhasa you can find a travel agency to get the pass for you, which will allow you one month of travel in up to four different locations. The situation is really tense now. Whether or not you get your pass in Lhasa depends on how you present yourself. (June 14)
脱镇国: 在西_藏旅行,除了必须带好身份证,珠峰、阿里、山南、亚东、墨脱等一些地区还必须办边境证,否_则通不过边防武警的关卡。在拉萨可以找旅行社代办,有效期一个月,可填4个地方。最近局势紧张,在拉萨办不办得出来要看人品。(6月14日)

LiMumuStudent: I’m here #PotalaPalace I touched the Potala Palace!! It feels so holy… The square [in front of the palace] is heavily guarded. There are riot police, and there’s a security check… (June 14)