'China cracking down on Tibetans' satellite equipment'

Dharamsala, Jan 10 (IANS) China has launched a crackdown on the satellite equipment used by Tibetans, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said here Thursday.

"The move is believed to be part of a government clampdown on communications to stifle information on self-immolation protests against the Chinese government," it said.

Quoting a report of Radio Free Asia, the CTA said hundreds of satellite dishes and receivers have been seized from homes in Malho prefecture in Qinghai province and destroyed or burned as part of a "cleansing" operation launched following a surge in Tibetan self-immolation protests.

The CTA, based in this Himachal Pradesh hill town, said self-immolations in Tibet have been on to protest Beijing's "repressive policies" and demand the return of the Dalai Lama to his homeland.

The Radio Free Asia report said the campaign was centred on Rebgong county where a record number of Tibetans burned themselves.

A six-member team had been formed to "seize and destroy all the illegal equipment in Malho prefecture".

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.