Beijing bans foreigners from travelling to Tibetan-inhabited areas
Foreigners are banned from travelling to Gannan Prefecture in Gansu province, home to a major Tibetan monastery.
In Sichuan almost the entire prefecture of Ganzi is off-limits; this, just two weeks after it was re-opened.
In 2008 protests that broke out in Tibet had in fact spilled over into other provinces.
Wide areas of Tibet are closed off to tourists. Journalists who want to visit Tibet must get a special permit and many have been expelled without warning in the last few days.
On Thursday, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu described the current situation in Tibet as “stable”. She added however that restrictions are required to “safeguard stability” in the region.
Wary of potential unrest, China last month launched a security sweep in Tibet, with at least 81 people arrested during raids on hotels, hostels, bars and other tourist venues.
According to exiled Tibetan groups, the current status of at least 1,200 Tibetans arrested in March-April 2008 remains unknown. They have however the names of Tibetans tortured or sentenced to life in prison or years in jail for crimes of opinion, not to mention at least 120 who died during the protests.
(Pictured: Norzin Wangmo, 30, sentenced according to the Free Tibet group to five years of prison for making phone calls and sending e-mail messages outside Tibet describing the internal situation in the region.)