After gunning down unarmed Tibetan protesters in Drango, Serta, and Dzamtang counties, the Chinese government has announced further restrictions on Tibetans living in Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan autonomous areas in Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan, and Sichuan provinces.
Beginning 1 March 2012, those who enter Tibet are required should to carry their government-issued identity cards (in Chinese: shen fen zheng), reported the Chinese government-owned website ChinaTibetNews.com today quoting Qi Zhala, the Communist Party Secretary of Lhasa City. (Go to this link for the report: http://www.chinatibetnews.com/lvyou/2012-02/01/content_872080.htm)
Qi Zhala said this move was aimed at “establishing and improving coordination among the four provinces [Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan and Sichuan]”, according to the report. On an inspection tour around Lhasa on 29 January 2012, Lhasa Party chief Qi told the police officers that they should strive to realize the goal of “no big incidents, no medium incidents and no small incidents to occur” and to “strike hard at all the separatists.” Qi also stressed on stepping up security and increasing the number of police officials along national roads and “key monasteries.”
Latest information suggests that restrictions have now been expanded to Tibetans visiting or living in Beijing. Sources say Beijing branch of Public Security Bureau has issued a notice asking all hotels and steam-bath houses in Beijing to be more attentive about the presence of Tibetan clients. Hotel employees in Beijing are required to check the identities of Tibetans staying there and to immediately inform the police station.
Restrictions are exceptionally severe in Lhasa, Serta, Drango, and Dzamtang, where a spate of peaceful Tibetan protests occurred in the past months. Tibetans in Lhasa say they are stopped every four or five steps on the way by security officers asking them to furnish their ID cards. Security forces in Lhasa have noticeably increased in recent days and are on 24-hour duty keeping strict surveillance on local Tibetans. Many who are not from Lhasa have been forced to leave. Chinese soldiers are said to be entering all hotels verifying the identities of Tibetan lodgers.
In Lhasa, Tibetans who had visited the Kalachakra Prayers in India in December 2011 are also being interrogated and their backgrounds investigated.
In this intensified security climate, police officers are allowed to make sudden visits to Tibetan homes; they carry out arbitrary search in these homes; question random individuals. Cases of arbitrary arrests are also reported by some sources, however, details are still not available on the exact number and identities of those arrested.