One World One Ummah

China bans foreign tourists from Tibet

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BEIJING (AP) – China has banned  foreign tourists from traveling to Tibet ahead of a parade in the capital to mark 60 years of Communist rule, an official said Tuesday, amid stepped-up security across the country to ensure nothing mars the celebrations.

Tan Lin, an official with the business administration office at the Tourism Bureau of Tibet, said foreign tourists would be banned from Tuesday onwards, but those who have already arrived would be allowed to stay.

China has tightened security in recent weeks ahead of the Oct. 1 holiday that will see a military parade through the heart of Beijing, a speech by President Hu Jintao and a huge fireworks display.

Sales of knives have been banned at some stores including large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour after two separate knife attacks near Tiananmen Square last week, according to store officials and state media.

A female staffer who gave her last name Lazhen at the sales department of the International Grand Hotel in Lhasa – 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) from Beijing – said the ban was in effect until Oct. 8.

No foreigners came to her hotel on Monday and business has now down 20 to 30 percent, she said.

Fu Jun, an official with the publicity department of the Communist Party in Tibet, said he still had not heard about the ban.

China requires foreigners to obtain special permission to visit Tibet and routinely bars them from all Tibetan minority areas of the country during sensitive periods.


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September 23, 2009 at 3:33 am

Posted in News

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