China Tightening Control in Tibet Region, Exiles Say

As Tibetan exiles meet in Dharamsala, India to discuss their strategy in dealing with the Chinese government, Chinese officials have been keeping a tight rein on Tibetan areas. From the Los Angeles Times:

Although it is difficult to say conclusively that the two events are linked, reports of tighter control, stepped-up patrols and increased paramilitary presence in Lhasa, the regional capital, and along major transport arteries coincide with a key strategy meeting attended by exiles in northern India this week.

“We’ve monitored an even more intense crackdown in the past couple of weeks,” Kate Saunders, communication director with the advocacy group International Campaign for Tibet, said today. “The Chinese authorities have clearly been very rattled by the fact they were taken unaware this spring and summer.”

Meanwhile, the has called on his host country, India, to help Tibet. From Times of India:

“India and Tibet is having the relationship of a ‘guru and chela’ (teacher and disciple) and when chela (disciple) is in trouble, the guru (teacher) must look after him,” the Nobel laureate said here.

It has also been reported that a top policymaker for the Chinese government on Tibet has been fired, though the reasons are not yet clear. Reuters reports:

Bi Hua was asked to step down recently as director of the No. 7 bureau of the Party’s United Front Work Department, the independent sources with knowledge of the case said, requesting anonymity for fear of repercussions.

It was not clear what prompted Bi’s removal from the helm of the bureau, which oversees Tibetan affairs.

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