Curfew Imposed in Tibetan Areas of Qinghai Ahead of Lunar New Year — Radio Free Asia

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Authorities in northwest China’s Qinghai province are proscribing journey in Tibetan-populated areas forward of the beginning of Lunar New Year, known as Losar by Tibetans, later this month, Tibetan sources say.

The transfer features a 10:00 p.m. curfew in the Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture’s Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo) and Matoe (Maduo) counties imposed in the identify of “social stability” and “sanitation,” a Tibetan residing in exile instructed RFA’s Tibetan Service, citing sources in the area.

“Security personnel have been dispatched to restaurants, hotels, internet cafes, and all places of recreation,” RFA’s supply mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity.

“Anyone caught out after curfew risks punishment, including imprisonment and severe physical abuse,” he mentioned.

“[Police] are also checking everyone’s identification card,” he added.

Matoe county in specific is a vital hub of native transportation and journey by Tibetans in Qinghai, Swiss-based former Tibetan political prisoner Golog Jigme mentioned, including, “And armed police and other security personnel are often stationed there ahead of important cultural and religious festivals.”

Authorities in northwestern China’s Gansu province have in the meantime imposed restrictions on journey to and from an necessary Tibetan monastery forward of a significant prayer competition, Jigme instructed RFA in an earlier report.

Labrang Tashi Kyil monastery’s annual Monlam Chenmo competition, which usually attracts massive numbers of individuals, will start on February 15, the third day of Losar celebrations, however is barred this yr to guests not carrying face masks, and entry is forbidden to non-public autos, Jigme mentioned.

Authorities have cited fears of a selection of COVID-19 in imposing their restrictions, Jigme mentioned, “But in reality, the crackdown is aimed at the soon-to-be-observed great Monlam Chenmo religious festival itself.”

Buddhist monasteries in Tibet and Tibetan-populated provinces of western China have steadily turn out to be the main target of efforts to advertise not simply faith however Tibetan cultural values, and Chinese safety forces typically monitor and typically shut down occasions involving massive crowds.

Annual public assemblies on the monasteries have tremendously elevated in dimension in current years, as 1000’s of Tibetans collect to say their nationwide id in the face of Beijing’s cultural and political domination.

Reported by Lobe Socktsang for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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