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China Security Buildup Seen in Tibetan Video

  • Tsering Kyi

Video smuggled out of a restless Tibetan area of China shows what appears to be dozens of security force vehicles moving into the town just days before the Tibetan New Year.

The video, given to VOA's Tibetan service, shows a long line of troop transport vehicles traveling into the town of Ngaba in western Sichuan province.

Ngaba and other Tibetan communities in the region have been under very tight security since 2008. There are controls on people’s movements, security checkpoints for restricting entry and re-education teams deployed in local monasteries.

Chinese authorities have not publicly commented on any extra security measures for the area.

The Tibetan New Year — traditionally a time for family gatherings, celebrations and religious festivities — has in recent years become a highly tense period in Tibet.

Certain communities have chosen not to celebrate the holiday as a sign of mourning for those dead, missing or imprisoned due to security crackdowns. In response, both incentives and coercive threats have been issued by local authorities to force the communities to hold celebrations.

A 2012 decision to forgo celebration in the Tibetan town of Kham Drango resulted in Chinese security forces firing into crowds, injuring over 30 people and killing at least one.

Ngaba has been one of the focal points of Tibetan unrest since a series of self-immolations began there in 2009. Since then, more than 130 Tibetans have self-immolated, many in the Ngaba area.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Tibetan service.

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