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China: Tibetan activists continue protests

China has ratcheted up security in Tibetan region, cutting internet and phone service.
China tibet protest continue 2012 2 3Enlarge
Tibetans (L) walk next to a police car on a street in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Jan. 27, 2012. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

China has ratcheted up security in the Tibetan region, cutting internet and some mobile phone services in large swatches as patrols clamp down on protest.

The state-run Global Times newspaper reported from a Tibetan part of Sichuan province on Friday, saying that internet and phone services were cut in a 50-square-kilometer area around protest sites.

The nationalistic newspaper published one of the only available reports in English from the Tibetan region, as foreign journalists in China have been blocked from reporting on the situation.

In a lengthy piece under the headline, "Monks Run Amok," the newspaper focused on a Han Chinese man who said his house and possessions were destroyed when "a knife-wielding mob shouting death threats," stormed his home. The piece said his house was targeted because his brother is a local police official.

More from GlobalPost: China says "no sweat" over Tibet

Tibetan activists based outside of China have documented wide protests across Tibet since late last year, and the Chinese security response, which they say is heavy-handed.

It's been impossible for most foreign journalists to reach the area to independently investigate or verify what has happened.

The Global Times took a party line in painting the conflict, in which several Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule, saying that it was driven by forces outside of China and not an ethnic dispute. The man whose house was destroyed told the newspaper: "There's no conflict between Han and Tibetan people. All the crimes were committed by political monks in foreign countries."

That thinly veiled reference to the Dalai Lama comes a day after the newspaper hinted that China would outlast the Tibetan spiritual leader by waiting for him to die.

More from GlobalPost: Video purports to show Tibetan nun self-immolating (GRAPHIC)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/china/tibet-activists-protests-dalai-lama