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Dharamshala: Ahead of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, Tibet will be closed to foreign tourists as well as non-Chinese researchers and scholars. According to reports from RFA and AFP news agency, foreigners will not be admitted into Tibet until at least the end of July.

"At the moment we're not admitting foreign tourists," a representative from the China Travel Service in Tibet's capital of Lhasa told AFP. A separate travel agent from Lhasa told RFA: "No travel agencies will take foreigners into Tibet. There must be something political, something the government does not want them to see."

In Lhasa, even Tibetans who are not registered as residents there, were reported being expelled. "Many Tibetans who came from Qinghai and Yunnan were told to return home by the end of June, and Tibetan businessmen without official permits have also been told to leave Lhasa and return to their hometowns,"RFA quoted an anonymous Tibetan residing in the city as saying. The current ban marks the second time this year that Tibet has been closed off to foreigners. During the politically sensitive month of March where Tibetans marked the 52nd anniversary of China's brutal suppression of a Tibetan national uprising, a ban on foreigners visiting to Tibet was imposed.

Also, the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which falls on Jul 6, is a particularly sensitive occasion to the Chinese government.

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