søndag 3. april 2022

China crimps contact between Tibetans abroad and in Tibet, RFA survey shows

Like most Tibetans who live in exile in neighboring India, Kelsang Gyatso had long relied on free social media chat apps to talk to his family members back home in Markham county in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). But that changed last year when the Chinese government stepped up its surveillance measures and restricted online communications between Tibetans and their family members and friends abroad. “I was able to communicate with my family and relatives back in Tibet using social media chat apps, [but] the communication was completely cut off a few months back due to greater surveillance and restrictions,” Gyatso told RFA.

Part of Chamdo prefecture, Markham county (in Chinese, Mangkang) is an area rich in agricultural, water and mineral resources. Residents of depend on farming and animal husbandry to make a living.

“It’s very worrisome not having any information on how they are doing, and I’m sure it’s the same for them also not knowing about my well-being,” said Gyatso, who in 2000 fled his impoverished hometown, located in the TAR’s far west and bordering China’s Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.