Analysis

China: Crackdown in Tibet Mars Celebration of New Year
YouTube image reportedly of Chinese security officers beating a man in Tibet, late January 2012.
February 29, 2012
| Security
| Asia and the Pacific
Summary
The two-week celebration of Losar, the Tibetan New Year, has been marred this year by an intense crackdown on native Tibetans by Chinese security forces. Monasteries in Tibet are now patrolled by Chinese police and armed personnel carriers regularly patrol in downtown Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Increased protests in Tibet, including self-immolations, are being met with a harsh response from Beijing as it seeks to assert its control.

In response to the crackdown, Tibet’s exiled government in India has called on Tibetans not to celebrate the traditional two weeks of festivities which began last week and instead pray for Tibetans living under Chinese rule. Beijing has countered that the protests are politically motivated and seek to undermine Chinese authority and sovereignty over Tibet. The Chinese government has dramatically increased its security presence in the region and barred most foreign journalists from entering.

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