Here at High Peaks Pure Earth we are in our third year of monitoring Tibetan blogs and social networking sites. At around this time every year, we usually notice Tibetan bloggers either posting less than usual or unable to, due to sites being closed down. Sometimes the closure of sites are temporary and sometimes they are permanent.
We previously translated Tibetans on social networking sites warning of increased restrictions on songs and mobile phones in Lhasa in the run up to Losar, Tibetan New Year, as well as the anniversaries of large protests, March 10 and March 14. At the National People’s Congress several days ago in Beijing, it was confirmed to foreign journalists that Tibet was closed to all foreigners. There have also been reports in official Chinese state media about this, quoting Party Chief Zhang Qingli: “Local authorities are concerned the cold weather would be dangerous for tourists”.
A popular Chinese language social networking site used only by Tibetans has been inaccessible for several days now. MyBudala has been introduced on High Peaks Pure Earth in the past, we used the following screenshot in our posting Tsampa Eaters and Sweet Tea Drinkers: Tibetan Identity Assertion Through Food:
At present, trying to access http://love.mybudala.com leads only to error messages:
At the same time, another popular Tibetan language blog-hosting site DobumNet is also inaccessible, all blogs hosted there are also inaccessible:
High Peaks Pure Earth will continue to monitor the blogs over the next weeks.
This post is also available in: English