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China: Are Tibetan Bloggers Being Silenced?

Quite alarming to report that all of the most popular Tibetan language blog hosting sites (except one) have been inaccessible for almost three weeks now.

Although it is fairly common practice for Tibetan language blog hosting sites to be taken down (sometimes for “maintenance”) at times deemed sensitive by the authorities (see ‘All Quiet on the Tibetan Blog Front‘), this month holds no particular political significance as far as I can see.

tibetabc error

Error Message when trying to access TibetABC

Sites which are still inaccessible today include the most popular ones, www.tibettl.com and www.tibetabc.cn which hosts the blog of popular Tibetan-language writer and blogger, Jamyang Kyi. The last Tibetan language blog hosting site standing is, inexplicably, ChodMe (Butterlamp) http://www.cmbod.cn/index.html

Chodme

Still going strong: Chodme

There is some speculation on Tibetan blog sites that these closures are related to the arrest of Tibetan writer Tashi (pen name, Therang). For more information about Tashi, see my previous post here on Global Voices.

Intriguingly, the same month that Tibetan language blogs start to close down, the People's Daily launches a Tibetan edition with a web home here: http://tibet.people.com.cn/

Peoples Daily Tibetan Ed

Tibetan Edition of People's Daily

In what was already a restrictive environment, the development that independent blog spaces are being curbed and officially controlled Tibetan language sites are springing up, is a worrying one.

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