Focus Tibet

«Cleaning action» against Tibetan street vendors

The authorities have significantly stepped up video surveillance in the streets and inspections of Tibetan street vendors. On March 20, the "Clean Lhasa" campaign was announced and since then all street vendors around Jokhang Temple have been specifically searched. The action was officially justified by stopping the peddling.

The main aim of the controls are food sellers, because according to the official justification, their goods did not show any data on the shelf life and quality. In addition, dealers would be banned from selling Tibetan music CDs. Informants told RFA that it was striking that only Tibetan traders were affected by the controls, so that the official justification for "cleanliness" was only an excuse.

The bans threaten the existence of the dealers, so that some simply continue despite the ban. The authorities said that 30 people had already been interrogated. Some of those who opposed the ban have already been arrested.

According to University of Toronto Tibetan sociologist Dr. Gyal Lo, the authorities are concerned with combating all elements that contribute to the formation of Tibetan identity. New York-based Chinese lawyer Xiang Xiaoji said that tourists should be given the impression that Tibetans are doing so well that there is no need for street vendors and peddlers.

Radio Free Asia, 31. March 2023 // dr. Uwe Meya

Photo: Uwe Meya (1981)

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  1. widower

    Bad, and Switzerland is simply watching. Multiple protest notes and the closing of the Chinese embassy in Bern as a result would be a clear sign. But no, you let it happen. Söihäfeli, Söitecheli!

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