Tibet is the only place where you can't travel freely: a traveler

Potala, the Palace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, the Capital of Tibet. (Photo: file)

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Dharamshala — Recently, a Taiwanese traveller visited all the Provinces, Cities and Autonomous Regions in China, but he said that Tibet was the only place that could not be visited freely, he must needed to join with a tour and needed a Tibet travel permit to enter the Tibet.

Every month and every year, thousands of Chinese tourists visiting Tibet, travelling to Tibet becomes their dream, because Tibet has clean air and a magnificent environment, as well as genuine Tibetans who live there. On the one hand, Chinese propaganda about Tibet attracts Chinese to Tibet, and on the other, the Chinese government has a policy of sending Chinese to Tibet, because Tibet is less populated and larger than China.

But not everyone is allowed to go to Tibet, not even Tibetans are free to go anywhere in Tibet. The Chinese government has banned foreign diplomats and journalists, independent organisations and even independent UN organisations banned from travelling to Tibet. The Chinese government closed Tibet to the world. Tibetans are not allowed to leave Tibet, nor are they allowed to travel freely within Tibet; they must obtain permission to visit their own land.

There are many restrictions for travelling to Tibet, even if you have obtained permission to go to Tibet, you are not allowed to go alone when you arrive in Tibet, and you must take part in an organised trip. People, who have obtained a visa for China, but if they wanted to travel to Tibet, they need a special permit to travel to Tibet. "To visit Tibet, international tourists need a Tibet travel permit issued by the Tibet Autonomous Region Tourism Bureau (also known as the TTB permit)", said a source. “Banning people from coming to Tibet because the Chinese government is afraid that the real situation of Tibetans will be known to the whole world, that Tibetans do not have freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of religion and freedom of language, and so on,” another source said.

Since 2008, Tibet has been closed to the outside world on every March, as 10 March is Tibetan Uprising Day, when thousands of Tibetans protested against China's illegal occupation of Tibet on March 10, 1959. Tibetans often protest against China during this month, therefore, Chinese authorities not allowed people go into Tibet until 1 April, every year.

According to the Chinese government, March is considered a sensitive month, they will intensify the control on Tibetans, foreigners and other people in their travel, movement and activities, including online chatting and online activities, they are afraid that if Tibetans protest against the Chinese government during this month, the tourists and people who visit Tibet will take photos and videos and spread them all over the world, while China is propagating that Tibetans are happy in Chinese-occupied Tibet, and these propagations will be in vain.

In recent years, during the Tibetan New Year Losar and the Chinese Lunar New Year, the Chinese authorities have also closed Tibet. In addition, during certain special periods, such as the celebration of so called the "50th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Tibet Autonomous Region" and the celebration of the "60th Anniversary of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet", Tibet has remained closed to the outside world, as the Chinese authorities fear that Tibetans will protest against the Chinese government on these days.