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In Tibet, Top Chinese Official Orders New Media Clampdown

Tsering Woeser speaking to VOA Tibetan via Skype from Beijing, Mar 01, 2012.
Tsering Woeser speaking to VOA Tibetan via Skype from Beijing, Mar 01, 2012.

China's top leader in Tibet is urging local authorities to clamp down on Internet and mobile phone use in the region, as Beijing prepares to open its annual National People's Congress and Tibetans honor those who have died protesting Chinese rule.

The state-run Tibet Daily newspaper quotes regional Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo as saying that maintaining stability in the Himalayan region "means everything. Unstable elements must be nipped in the bud and all work at maintaining stability must be deepened."

He also said security forces "must crush hostile forces" led by the Dalai Lama - the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who is widely revered outside China, while accused by Beijing of fomenting rebellion in Tibetan regions.

China has flooded Tibetan areas with thousands of troops and police in recent weeks, in a push to prevent Tibetan activists from setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese presence in their territories.

The latest crackdown call  - just days ahead of the anniversary of deadly unrest in 2011 and 2008 - has reached all the way to Beijing.  There, outspoken Tibetan writer-poet Tsering Woeser said Wednesday that security police prevented her from receiving a cultural award from the Dutch ambassador.

In a Skype interview, Tsering Woeser told VOA Tibetan that the Chinese police barred her from attending a low-key private ceremony where she was to receive the 2011 Netherlands-based Prince Claus Fund award. The prize is presented annually to individuals, groups and organizations for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development.

The Dutch fund says on its website that they are honoring “courageous Tibetan writer” Woeser for her “active commitment to self-determination, freedom and development in Tibet.”

Tsering Woeser is currently under house arrest. She writes that the State security police have warned her against going anywhere without their permission.

“State Police showed up at my residence today," she said. "They said you cannot go to the embassy. We will stop you from going. It is best if you do not go to collect the award."

Beijing police had no immediate comment, reported Associated Press.

The Chairman of the Fund HRH Prince Frisco was originally supposed to present the award but he was refused a visa to visit China, writes Woeser on her much-read blog. In her blog, Woeser, 44, writes about Tibet. In recent years the blog has become a conduit for news from the Tibetan regions where press have little or no access. She says the Netherlands Embassy was also warned by Beijing officials against presenting the award to her.

Earlier recipients of the Prince Claus Award from China have not been barred from receiving the prize

“Why have I been made the exception? Could it be because I am Tibetan? A dissident writer? ” the writer asked.

Woeser was earlier barred from leaving China to receive the 2007 Norwegian Authors Union Freedom of Expression Prize in Oslo and the International Women's Media foundation’s 2010 Courage in Journalism award in New York.

China's showcase annual legislative session begins next week, and authorities in past years have sought to portray national unity by squelching any and all signs of public dissent in the capital.

For Tibetans, March 17 marks the first anniversary of a widely-reported self-immolation by a young monk whose death triggered the current crackdown.

March 17 is also the fourth anniversary of a larger and deadly Chinese crackdown in Tibetan areas, and the 53rd anniversary of the Dalai Lama's escape to northern India, after a failed uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.   

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by: Charlie
March 06, 2012 9:48 AM
FYI: The Cantonese people of Southern China are also known as the Yue people & their language is also known as the Yue language.Yue is the English translation for Viet, or Vietnamese.2100 ago the whole of Southern China belonged to the kingdom of Nan Yue,ancient kingdom of the modern Vietnamese,who lost the whole area in Southern China to the Hans.Can Vietnam claim it back based on history?


by: Charlie
March 06, 2012 9:38 AM
The world's borders have changed so much over the last 2000 years,while some countries were destroyed & absorbed into others,new ones also emerged.Territorial claims simply cannot be based on history,otherwise there would be chaos.The Mongols could claim all China,the whole of Central Asia & Russia,& Vietnam could claim the whole of Southern China then.Ming China,Tibet & Xinjang were all parts of the Qing Dynasty,ruled by the Manchurians.Tibet & Xinjang are not inseparable parts of China


by: alijan
March 05, 2012 8:23 PM
thank you of your programe


by: Kurt
March 04, 2012 8:46 PM
USA belongs to Indian,not yours


by: Jonathan Huang
March 03, 2012 8:13 PM
To Tran and Wangchuk, Go check wikipedia, you can easily read the histories of Tibet and Xingjiang. Wikipedia is not CCP run media. Tibet has been occupied by China since Yuan dynasty, 1271, then Qing dynasty, 1724, and Xingjiang has been occupied by China since 60BC, Han dynasty.


by: Tiger
March 03, 2012 3:35 AM
Tran Canada 03-03-2012 :
Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since time immemorial. Just imagine, if people in Vancouver or Quebec wanted to declare themselves independent of Canada, what would your government react?


by: Devade
March 02, 2012 9:48 PM
There is no doubt that Tibetans and Uighurs are Chinese.Many people do not konw the history.If we want to know the truth,it is better to learn more knowledge about China.Do not say anything that is not based on facts.


by: Xing
March 02, 2012 7:03 PM
@Tran:It is rediculous. Some people always think they know the truth in history even if they are foreigners. It seems that they have witnessed this history. Well, if you really care to free other people, why do not you let white people go back Europe and free Canada first?


by: Tran
March 02, 2012 3:40 PM
To Xing: Tibet was an independent country. Communist China violently invaded Tibet in 1950, then cruely and bloodyly suppressed the strongest rising up of Tibetans in 1959. We are foreigners, but we know the truth in Chinese history more than you, because your history books were changed. Nowadays, no one can correct China's lie yet. But, who knows in the future.


by: Xing
March 02, 2012 10:36 AM
@Guyu: You are not Chinese. This is for sure. Wangchuk is also not. But Uighurs and Tibetan who live in China are absolutely Chinese. If they study or work oversea, they have to get Chinese passports. No one can change that.

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