Some 29 Tibetan tour guides from Shigatse Prefecture Tourist Travel Agency in Lhasa were reportedly dismissed from their jobs on 1 July 2000 following a major investigation to identify and expel guides who are exile-educated Tibet returnees.
TAR Tour Guide Discipline Management Department, established June this year, conducted an extensive investigation into 18 branch Tourist Agencies in Lhasa that comes under China International Tourist Service (CITS).
According to Sonam Wangdu, one of the 29 expelled Tibetan guides who reached Nepal on 27 July 2000, “An Inspection Committee dispatched by the newly set up Guide Discipline Management Department, conducted strict investigation in various tours and travel agencies in Lhasa City functioning under TAR International Tourist Service. Inquiries are made regarding the guides’ personal background, particularly names of educational institutions where we have studied and any history of political activism. We were further interrogated concerning our knowledge of guide regulation and made to produce documents to prove our credentials. These led to the dismissal of 29 tourist guides educated in India just five days before the Dalai Lama’s birthday celebration this year. However, three Tibetan graduates from Chinese universities were not stripped off their tour guide jobs.”