China Seals Off Tibetan Capital

Crackdown comes after new protests, visit by foreign envoys
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2008 2:51 PM CDT
An arrested rioter, accompanied by a police officer is interviewed by foreign journalists at a prison in Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region Thursday, March 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
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(Newser) – Chinese police closed off Tibet's capital today after fresh protests broke out during a tightly-orchestrated visit by diplomats. “The whole area has been shut down,” said one London-based advocacy group. Authorities swarmed Lhasa’s main temples, as monks continued demonstrating and urged Beijing to begin talks with the Dalai Lama.

Beijing has promised to compensate the families of 18 victims killed in Lhasa violence, but reps of the Dalai Lama say the death toll is closer to 140. The US has pressed China to allow journalists and diplomats greater access to Tibet, and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson will raise the issue during a visit to Beijing next week, Reuters reports.