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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Lhasa Crackdown Amid Talks

November 6, 2008

Radio Free Asia 2008-11-05

Police have stepped up security requirements for visitors to the 
Tibetan capital, as the Dalai Lama's envoys wrap up talks with Chinese 
officials.

KATHMANDU-Authorities in the Tibetan capital Lhasa have stepped up 
security checks in the city following talks between envoys of the 
exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and Chinese officials 
in Beijing.

Formal discussions between Tibetan envoys led by Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari 
and Chinese officials Chinese officials ended Wednesday as the Dalai 
Lama said he was giving up hope that any settlement with Beijing was 
achievable. Meanwhile, security forces have tightened controls in 
Lhasa, according to tourist industry sources.

"They are carrying out very tight checks in recent days," a male 
employee at a Lhasa guesthouse said. "If people can't show an ID card, 
we can't allow them to stay here."

Guesthouses found in violation of the new rules will be punished, 
according to employees in the industry.

A Tibetan employee at a second guesthouse said Tibetans and Han 
Chinese alike were being checked.

Tightened checks on visitors

"They are really cracking down hard on the registration of guests 
right now. If we let one slip through the net, we get fined 500 yuan," 
she said.

"They are coming to check up on us, especially on people from outside 
Lhasa. Everyone is getting checked."

During their visit to China, the Dalai Lama's envoys were taken to the 
Muslim autonomous region of Ningxia by Chinese authorities in an 
effort to demonstrate Beijing's handling of minority concerns, 
according to the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala, northern 
India.

The Dalai Lama has long championed a "middle path" policy with China, 
which espouses "meaningful autonomy" for Tibet, rather than the full 
independence for the remote Himalayan region that many younger, more 
radical activists demand.

The future of that policy will be the focus of a special meeting in 
Dharamsala next month of around 300 delegates representing the 
worldwide exiled Tibetan community.

Chinese authorities have made numerous arrests and launched a 
"patriotic education" campaign aimed at Tibetans after protests and 
riots that began in Lhasa in mid-March and spread to other Tibetan 
areas. Beijing says 22 people were killed in the rioting. Tibetan 
sources say scores of people were killed when Chinese paramilitary and 
police opened fire on crowds of demonstrators.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959 following a failed 
uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule.

Original reporting in Mandarin by Qiao Long. Mandarin service 
director: Jennifer Chou. Translated and written for the Web in English 
by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.
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