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Leaked Police Guideline Reveals Racial Discrimination Against Tibetans in Tibet


Lhasa Tsuglagkhang


Discrimination against Tibetans in China’s policies has long been reported. Today there are signs of starker segregating policy implemented against Tibetans in certain social contexts.

An undated “leaked police” guideline distributed to the hotels in Lhasa shows the Tibetans from Chamdo Prefecture, Sog, Driru and Dragchen counties of Nagchu Prefecture, Qinghai, Gansu, Yunan and Sichuan provinces require police approval to stay in the hotels.The guideline specifically exempts Chinese (Han in Chinese).

Free Tibet said the source of the one-paged-document in Chinese that reveals the situation is from a “highly reliable” person in Tibet. The same document was tweeted by Beijing based Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser in December 2013. In October a similar announcement, reportedly to be from Lhasa Old Town Commend Center, shows police stations in Lhasa that were instructed to target Tibetans from “Three Eastern Counties” of Nagchu Prefecture, namely; Sog, Driru, and Drachen, and monitor them by using special secret codes.

London based rights group, Free Tibet, said that this is an “explicitly racist” policy. “The fact is that this is racial profiling if it specifically excludes Chinese and target only Tibetan,” Alistair Currie of Free Tibet told VOA Tibetan Service.

Many of the places mentioned in the letter are areas where there have been more protests in recent years. But Bapa Kalsang Gyaltsen, a former staff member of United Work Front in Ganze Prefecture and a current member of the Tibetan parliament in exile in India, argues that the restriction against the Tibetans is not related to the unrests in those areas. “There are many protests take place in China… there have been instances of policy stations being destroyed in China--each year around three hundred thousand protests take place in China,” Gyaltsen says. “But no restriction applies to the Chinese [from those areas]. They are allowed to go anywhere they want to.”

St. Regis hotel in Lhasa confirmed to VOA Tibetan Service that hotels in the Tibetan capital are required to deliver all information of the Tibetans from these areas to police station.

China says Tibetans are enjoying freedom of religion and movement and accuses the Tibetans in exile for trying to “spilit” Tibet from China, but the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government in exile has consistently said they are only seeking for a “genuine” autonomy for Tibet.
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