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.
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
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/
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.