As the date inches closer to the anniversary of the 60th Tibetan National Uprising Day, China has locked down Tibet for foreign visitors. According to the latest reports, the availability of visas for foreigners travelling to Tibet has been made unavailable till April 1, i.e., for a period of more than a month and half.
The Chinese authorities have been enforcing extensive measures ahead of one of the most sensitive times relating to the issue of Tibet. One of the most significant measures were tightening their grip against people including those within the system of the Chinese government administration, loyal to the exiled spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Besides, the Chinese authorities in various parts of Tibet, China has been banning Tibetans from engaging in religious activities, fearing unrest.
Since the March 10 this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising Day and the 60th year of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s stay in exile, it is highly sensitive both inside as well as outside Tibet. Tibetans have repeated been revolting against the Chinese authorities demanding the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. The authorities fear of possible sparks of revolts from inside Tibet this time again. Therefore, according to reports, Tibet has already been locked up!
“China is barring foreign travelers from Tibet over a period of several weeks that includes a pair of sensitive political anniversaries questioning the legitimacy of Beijing’s rule over the Himalayan region.” said the report in the Star Tribune on Tuesday. The news was confirmed according to the report by the online customer service portal of the Tibet Youth International Travel Service, as well as staff at the Tibet Vista and Go to Tibet travel agencies. Both are based in the southwestern city of Chengdu — the main jumping-off point for visits to Tibet.
Despite United States passed a Reciprocal Access to Tibet bill against China, with a heavy security on the ground, Tibet is almost entirely closed to foreign journalists and diplomats and information about actual conditions there is difficult to obtain. The special permissions required to visit Tibet makes the region one of least accessible countries in the world.