Dharamsala, March 22 (IANS) A human rights group has expressed concern over China’s new surveillance system in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and asked it to dismantle the Orwellian “grid”, according to the website of the Central Tibetan Administration.
“China’s effort to impose pervasive surveillance on every street is not likely to make Tibet safer,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) China director Sophie Richardson said in a report.
The increased surveillance will surely increase pressure in an already tense region, even while the Tibetan people are still waiting for Chinese attention to rampant violations of their rights, a post on the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) website, quoting Richardson, said.
Asking the Chinese authorities to dismantle this Orwellian “grid” system, she said “its purpose appears to be surveillance and control, and it encroaches on Tibetans’ rights to freedom of expression, belief, and association”.
New York-based HRW Wednesday said the system significantly increases surveillance and monitoring, particularly of “special groups” in the region – former prisoners and those who have returned from the exile community in India, among others.
CTA officials here say the increased surveillance clearly indicates Chinese policies of political repression, enforced cultural assimilation and social discrimination.
The CTA said 108 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since February 2009 and 90 out of them have died.
The common cry of all self-immolators is the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this Himachal Pradesh hill town.