China Tightens Security in Lhasa Ahead of Tibetan New Year བོད་སྐད།

The Chinese security department has started wiretapping the phones of Lhasa residents. Therefore, common Tibetans are reluctant to contact family members or friends by phone, fearing that they may falsely be implicated by Chinese security agencies.

Recent Tibetans who arrived Kathmandu reported that Tibetans residing in Lhasa city are compelled to stay in-doors fearing that they might be implicated as Chinese military watch Tibetans from rooftops for 24 hours. Tibetans say that Lhasa streets are filled with armed paramilitary forces to check movement of Tibetans. Video cameras are installed in hotels, restaurants and teashops to watch Tibetans. In fact, Lhasa Barkor Street has video cameras installed on all directions.

Sources tell VOA that security situation in Lhasa city is as tight as when marshal law was imposed in March 1989 in Lhasa. Residents of the city worry what will be the situation in February and March 2009 when they observe Tibetan New Year and the 50th anniversary of March 10th National Uprising .