China to close Tibet to foreigners for a least 1 month

BEIJING (AP) — Travel agents say that for the fifth year running China plans to close Tibet to foreign travelers during a sensitive period starting next month.

Agent Yu Zhi of the Lhasa Youth Tourist Agency said the government’s tourist administration in Tibet’s capital had informed them that foreign travelers would be banned from Feb. 20 to March 30. Another agent with the China International Travel Agency in Lhasa said she’d been told the ban would end March 20.

The closure covers the Feb. 22-24 Tibetan new year festival of Losar as well as the anniversary of a deadly anti-government riot among Tibetans on March 14, 2008.

Many Tibetans resent Beijing’s heavy-handed rule and large-scale migration of China’s ethnic Han majority to the Himalayan region.

 

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