“China Boosts Security In Tibet, Sichuan”

Vows to Meet Skull-Cracking Quota, they may as well say. RFA is reporting that Chinese bloggers on the Chengdu-Tibet highway have seen huge numbers of troop carriers moving west, presumably headed to Kardze. I personally saw such a movement this summer in one Kham town, and can testify to how chilling it is:

Chinese authorities in Tibetan areas of the country are sending in additional security forces and imposing new restrictions in the region after several Tibetans were shot dead by security forces in bloody protests this week, residents and exile Tibetans say.

Netizens posted photographs online of army trucks speeding along a highway in the direction of Tibetan regions of China’s Sichuan province.

One netizen wrote on the popular Sina Weibo microblogging service: “As I was on duty today, I saw a large number of armed police vehicles of every kind, fully equipped, heading along the Chengdu to Ya’an highway in the direction of Ya’an.”

“It seems something is happening in Tibet.”

The Chengdu to Ya’an highway runs through Kardze (in Chinese, Ganzi) prefecture, where Draggo and Serthar are located.

A second netizen commented on the lack of reporting of the protests in Draggo. “Why are they rioting in Draggo county? What are their demands?” the netizen wrote.

“There are no reports about this.”

Sources in Chengdu said Sichuan provincial officials had cut short their Lunar New Year break after the news came through about the unrest.

“After the news came out from over there, they deleted it all from the Internet,” said a Chengdu source surnamed Li.

“Right now there are around 2,000 armed police on the streets within a one-kilometer radius of Serthar monastery.”

“No one dares to go outside, or to leave town,” Li said.

An employee who answered the phone at a Tibetan guesthouse in Lhasa confirmed that additional security checks had been stepped up on Tibetans.

“Of course security has been stepped up,” the employee said, adding: “I heard there was a problem over in Sichuan.”

He said there were currently a large number of police patrols on the city’s streets. “It’s mainly Tibetans that they want to check,” he said. “For Han Chinese, it’s OK if they have an ID card.”

“Now we have to check all Tibetans and see if they are from Lhasa, and then they can rent a room,” he said. “If they aren’t from Lhasa then they’re not allowed to stay here.”

There go all hopes of a measured response, if anyone was bold enough to have them in the first place.

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Filed under ethnic conflict, Self-Immolation Crisis, Tibet

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