China Increases Security in Tibet to Prevent Protests

From the New York Times:

For a second straight year, the Chinese government has increased security across parts of the vast Tibetan plateau to dissuade any Tibetans from holding protests this week to mark the anniversaries of ethnic uprisings. Witnesses who have spent time recently in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, and other Tibetan areas of western China say there are more police and paramilitary forces on the streets, some of them bearing automatic weapons.

On Tuesday, Ma Jun, the deputy chief of the Lhasa police force, said at a news conference that the police had begun a “crackdown storm” on March 2. He said 2,800 security officers had been deployed around the city and had examined thousands of people and nearly 150 businesses for signs of criminal activity, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.

A year ago, the Chinese government also blanketed the Tibetan region with security forces for fear that Tibetans would take to the streets as they did in March 2008. That widespread rebellion, which resulted in the deaths of ethnic Han civilians and others, began as a protest to mark the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

March 11, 2010, 3:15 AM
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