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24august20101Dharamshala: The People's Republic of China has staged two conferences this month to discuss public security in the so-called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the activities of Tibetan religious institutions.

According to Chinatibetnews.com, from August 18-19 the Public Security Ministry held a meeting of the public security bureaus of ethnic Tibetan areas, covering TAR and the four provinces, to assess their experiences of "upholding public security, the struggle against the current separatist movement, and [identifying] current challenges facing stability in Tibetan areas."

During the meeting, action plans were devised to "step up the fight against separatists, create bodies to protect social security, increase border security, and improve the communication infrastructure, uniform and skills of public security bureaus."

From August 14-15, the Communist Party of China's United Front Work Department summoned to Shigatse the heads of monastic institutions and United Front leads from TAR and the four provinces, to address the tightening of religious institutions' activities.

The two conferences are follow-ups to January's Fifth Work Forum on Tibet which implemented measures to bring a 'restive' Tibet under control.

In the wake of the spring 2008 pan-Tibet protests, the Chinese government has drastically curtailed the flow of Tibetans between Tibetan areas. Further, ordinances have been passed in Lhasa that require pilgrims, businessmen and visitors to be accompanied by guarantors when applying for short-stay permits at the Public Security Bureau. Visitors who fail to register face arrest during security checks.

'Strike hard' campaigns have also been launched to identify political activists, with anyone suspected of participating in political activities being interrogated and either placed under surveillance or detained.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com