March 9, 2009
Police will take away more than 100 monks for political re-education today on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising that led to the flight of the Dalai Lama.
[efoods]The rounding up of 109 monks from Lutsang monastery in Qinghai province, western China, is one of a series of extraordinary security measures being implemented to prevent restive Tibetans from commemorating the anniversary with protests against Chinese rule.
About a quarter of Chinaâ€™s territory, an area the size of Western Europe, has been closed off to foreigners. Thousands of troops and paramilitary police have been deployed in Tibetan-populated regions amid fears of a renewed outburst of the anti-Chinese violence that rocked the region a year ago. Winding mountain roads have been clogged for days with convoys of armoured military trucks and coaches bringing in reinforcements.
Two counties of western Sichuan province, where some of the biggest demonstrations erupted last year, have been virtually cut off already from the outside world. Their internet and mobile phone systems have been blocked. From tomorrow, mobile phone users in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, will find that they are virtually unable to communicate.