China Closes Tibet to Tourists

RFA: Travel operators say Chinese authorities have closed Tibet to foreign visitors and canceled visas for the region.

The move comes days after two Tibetans set themselves on fire in the region to protest Chinese rule.
No reason was given for the ban on foreign visitors with several Beijing based tour operators saying the restrictions could last for several months.

The ban comes as Tibetans prepare for a month-long (Saga Dawa) festival marking the birth of Buddha which normally draws thousands of tourists.

China enacted a similar ban on foreign visitors around the same time last year and has done so periodically during religious holidays or periods of unrest.
Nearly 40 people, including Buddhist monks, nuns and their supporters have set themselves on fire since March 2011 to protest Chinese rule.

China says the immolations incite separatism and are directed from outside the country. But representatives of spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who lives in northern India, say protesters are driven to self-immolate in large part because they can no longer tolerate Beijing's ongoing push against Tibetan culture and religion.

Popular Posts