PEKING, March 10, Reuter: China has ordered a crackdown on Tibetan separatists to prevent further outbreaks of anti-Chinese rioting in the regional capital of Lhasa.

Residents in the city said heavily armed policemen had staged a massive show of strength to keep. Tibetans off the streets on Thursday’s anniversary of the start of a mass uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

In Peking, two Tibetans holding high government posts called for tough action against those who took part in nationalist protests last Saturday.

One foreigner reported seeing a convoy of 120 trucks, carrying over 2,000 policemen with sub machineguns, tour Central Lhasa on Wednesday. “It was really frightening,” he said.

Several residents contacted by telephone said they were scared to speak to Western reporters who have been barred from travelling to the area after the anti-Chinese riots erupted.

The city was tense but quiet, they said late on Wednesday.

China says one policeman died and 309 members of the security forces were injured in Saturday’s clashes with stone throwing, club wielding Tibetans inspired by monks.

Officials refuse to say how many civilians were killed or hurt.

Buta westerner who insisted on not being identified said he had heard persistent accounts from Tibetan sources that up to 16 monks were killed after the security forces stormed the Jokhang Temple when the protests began on Saturday morning.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 18, 1988