Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tibet facing another crackdown from China

Reporter: Stephen McDonell

March 9, 2009

This is part of a transcript from AM, used in Fair Use. The program is broadcast around Australia at 08:00 on ABC Local Radio. On the same page you can also listen to the story in REAL AUDIO and WINDOWS MEDIA and MP3 formats.

TONY EASTLEY: On the eve of tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the failed uprising which saw the Dalai Lama flee Tibet, his family inside China have told the ABC that they miss him and want him to be allowed to return.

In an attempt to prevent a repeat of last year's clashes on the same anniversary China has increased police and military numbers across Tibet.

China correspondent Stephen McDonell reports from the Tibetan Plateau where he's seen the build up firsthand.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: In every Tibetan town and village there's tension in the run-up to tomorrow's 50th anniversary of a failed uprising here.

In 2008, the 49th anniversary of the event which sent the Dalai Lama into exile, produced a violent rebellion.

In 2009, the Government wants no protests, and, if they happen, for them not to be seen.

So up to a quarter of China's land mass is cut off to outsiders, and especially foreign journalists.

On the road to Tongren we came across a checkpoint where every car was stopped. Some officers wore helmets and carried automatic weapons.

They checked our identification and ordered us to drive back the way we came and return to Beijing. One officer said we shouldn't bother trying to return for the next month.

While we were there we saw two young Tibetan monks try to pass. They were taken off for questioning ...

When we knocked on the door of the house the Dalai Lama was born in we met his nephew's wife. She didn't want us to use her name.

I asked if tomorrow there could be a repeat of last year's events.

"It's not good to answer questions like this," she said.

"Do you miss him?" I asked

"I miss him every day," she said ...

When asked if the Communist Party might let him return, she said, "We're not allowed to talk about this", and warned that if we didn't go soon, the police would come and we'd be in trouble.

Has it been tense lately because of the 50th anniversary? "We aren't allowed to talk about this," she said, "So go quickly ...

Up here, military trucks by the dozen can be seen driving to trouble spots. They're packed full of soldiers, or paramilitary police carrying riot shields ...

Crackdown marks Tibet anniversary

The Australian - ‎2 hours ago‎
CHINA has launched a crackdown in greater Tibet, deploying an extra 20000 security forces and rounding up monks for "re-education" to prevent unrest on the ...
Times of India - BBC News

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