I know, their lives are better, their roads are better, their schools are better, they get more funding than any other minority and they’re grateful the shackles of serfdom have been lifted. Still, no one can tell me there is not at least a hint of a police-state to life under Tibet’s benefactors.
People in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa will have to register their names if they want to make photocopies. City shopkeepers say the authorities are particularly concerned about material printed in Tibetan.
This appears to be an attempt to prevent ordinary people from printing political pamphlets and other documents. It suggests the security forces still have a tight grip on the city, two years after serious riots.
Individuals wanting to photocopy documents will have to show their ID cards and have the information recorded. Companies will have to register their names and addresses, the number of copies they want and provide the name of the manager in charge of the work. The police say they will carry out checks and punish any shop that does not abide by the new regulation.
Photocopying outlets in Lhasa told the BBC that the rule is primarily aimed at the Tibetan language. One shopkeeper said she would not now make copies of documents in Tibetan without police approval first. Material printed in Chinese does not seem to be too much of a problem.
The authorities say the change is aimed at stopping criminals carrying out illegal activities. But the suspicion is that it is directed at those who might want to print political pamphlets critical of the Chinese government.
Gee, who would have guessed about that last part?
[Deleted the rest of this post sorry; for writing such self-righteous drivel. It happens sometime, especially when I rush a post before I need to go out.]
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.