Thursday, March 10, 2011

China closes Tibet to foreign travellers

The Chinese government has banned travellers from entering Tibet ahead of the third anniversary of violent anti-government riots, according to AP reports
Chinese travel agents say they have been ordered not to receive foreign visitors around the March 14 anniversary of a bloody anti-government riot in 2008, according to AP reports.
In what is becoming a yearly ritual, Chinese authorities will reportedly not give permission to foreigners to enter the troubled region this month.
The impact on travellers is expected to be minimal, as March is the tail end of the low season.
However, there is speculation that the ban could last for up to three months, according to reports.
Travellers require a special permit to enter Tibet, in addition to a Chinese visa.
Foreign tourists were banned entirely for more than a year following the 2008 riots in the main city of Lhasa that left at least 22 people dead and ignited protests across Tibetan areas of western China.
China responded with a massive military crackdown in which human rights campaigners say nearly 140 Tibetans were killed.
The protests were fuelled by anger over the increasing numbers of Han Chinese migrants arriving in the region, as well as a desire for Tibetan independence.

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