The governor of China's western region of Tibet says he does not expect any major disturbances in the remote area during two sensitive anniversaries next week.
Speaking with reporters Thursday on the sidelines of China's annual session of parliament, Tibet Governor Qiangba Puncong said that there will not be any big problems. He also said that common people in Tibet are very confident in the government and the Communist Party.
Puncong's comments were impossible to confirm as access to Tibet has been tightly restricted since Tibetans held rare protests last year that sparked a crackdown by Chinese authorities.
The protests, which started on March 10th, marked the anniversary of a 1959 Tibetan uprising that failed to oust Chinese rulers from the region.
That uprising ended with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, fleeing into exile in India.
Last year's demonstrations began peacefully in Tibet's capital, Lhasa, before turning violent and spreading to other Tibetan regions of China.
Chinese officials say 22 people were killed, but Tibet's government-in-exile says 218 Tibetans were killed and almost 7,000 were detained.
Ahead of the anniversary of last year's unrest and the 50th anniversary of the March 10th uprising, Chinese authorities have increased security in Tibetan-populated areas.
Exiled Tibetan rights groups say hundreds of Tibetan monks demonstrated for greater religious freedom Sunday in China's southwestern province of Sichuan.