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Alert China beefs up security around Tibet

world Updated: Mar 02, 2012 02:21 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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Days before the Chinese Parliament meets for the last time before a change in leadership, communication lines are being further tightened in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) to possibly preempt any kind of anti-government protests.

The government has been tightening security in TAR and adjoining regions where ethnic Tibetans live since series of self-immolations were reported from across the region

The official Tibetan Daily quoted Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party of China chief of Tibet, instructed authorities at all levels to "further increase their alertness to stability maintenance" ahead of the National People's Congress meet on Monday.

"Mobile phones, Internet and other measures for the management of new media need to be fully implemented to maintain the public's interests and national security," Chen was quoted as saying.

Chen also vowed to "completely crush hostile forces" that he said were led by the Dalai Lama, who’s based out of Dharamshala in India.

The Communist party official has made a few strong statements in the last few weeks. In February, he had even threatened to sack party and government officials if they failed to maintain peace and stability in the region.

"For those irresponsible officials who walk away from their duties, fail to implement policies or are found guilty of dereliction of duty in maintaining stability, they shall be immediately removed from their posts, pending punishment, regardless of how great the contributions they made in the past or what kind of position they held," was Chen’s warning.

Thousands of troops have been pushed into areas where Tibetans stay. Reports from the region say hundreds of roadblocks have been set in and around cities and policemen in civils are seen to be continuously patrolling streets.

Agency reports point out that at least 22 Tibetans have set themselves alight in protest since March 2011, and at least 15 are believed to have died from their injuries, according to rights groups. Most of them were Buddhist monks.