BEIJING May 14 Tibet's top propaganda official
vowed to "seal and stifle" the internet in an effort to defang
separatist groups in the Himalayan region, China's cabinet said
Dong Yunhu, Tibet's propaganda department head, made the
remarks at a meeting on Monday, the State Council's information
office said, as China seeks to stamp out ethnic unrest after a
string of violent attacks it has blamed on separatists from the
far-western region of Xinjiang.
"We must bring down pressure from the sky, find and
confiscate materials on the ground, and seal and stifle the
internet - the holy trinity of supervision and control of the
system," Dong said. "(This is) to cut off Tibetan separatist
propaganda from infiltrating and destroying all manner of
Tibet has also seen heightened unrest in recent years. More
than 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since 2009 to
protest Beijing's rule, with many calling for the return of
their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Beijing says the self-immolators are terrorists and has
called the Dalai Lama a "wolf in sheep's clothing" who seeks to
split the country in two.
The Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after
an abortive uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet, says he
merely wants autonomy.
China maintains tight control over the media. Censorship is
widespread, and Internet users cannot access information about
many topics without special software to circumvent restrictions.
The Communist Party last year renewed a campaign on online
discourse, threatening legal action against people whose
perceived rumours on microblogs are reposted more than 500 times
or seen by more than 5,000 people.
(Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Nick Macfie)