Tibet Under Martial Law as Revolt Anniversary Nears

Protests are simmering under curfew and heavy police presence
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2009 9:07 AM CST
Monks arrive for the Monlam Chenmo, also known as the Great Prayer Festival, at the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, China, Wednesday, March 4, 2009.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – China is quietly clamping down on Tibet ahead of twin anniversaries this month—the 50th of the Dalai Lama's failed revolt and the first of the violent riots that shook the region last year. Sandbag outposts, army convoys, and high police presence in Lhasa, Tibet's capital, indicate Beijing is readying for the worst. And while the region is quiet under curfew, there are rumblings of resistance, the New York Times reports.

Last week, Tibetans say a monk who lit himself on fire in protest was shot by security officers. Other monks have been holding rallies, and Tibetans swapped New Year celebrations for mourning this year. "We have to keep quiet," says one woman. "We're only a minority." Last year, Tibetans say their largest uprising in decades resulted in a Chinese crackdown that killed 239.