China closes Tibet to foreigners for sensitive anniversaries

2019-02-20 20:48
Tourists pose for souvenir photos in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Jigme Dorje, Xinhua via AP)

Tourists pose for souvenir photos in front of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. (Jigme Dorje, Xinhua via AP)

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China is keeping foreign travellers out of Tibet during sensitive political anniversaries.

Travel agencies contacted on Wednesday said foreign tourists would not be allowed into the Himalayan region until April 1.

It's not clear when the ban started, although some monitoring groups said it started this month.

March 10 is the 60th anniversary of an abortive 1959 uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet, while anti-government riots occurred March 14, 2008, in the regional capital Lhasa.

While the foreigner travel ban is an annual occurrence, the occasion of the 60th anniversary is drawing special attention from the authorities.

Amid heavy security on the ground, Tibet is almost entirely closed to foreign journalists and diplomats and information about actual conditions there is hard to obtain.

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