【 The New York Times 】   Post Date: 3/1/2012
Tibetan Author Denied Dutch Award by Beijing
Author: Edward Wong
Poet and blogger Woeser was held under house arrest by police in order to keep her from attending an award ceremony held in her honor at the Dutch embassy in Beijing.  In the past Woeser has written critically about the Chinese government’s actions in Tibet, which has gotten her blog banned in China.
A prominent Tibetan writer living here in Beijing said on Thursday that the police had placed her under house arrest to prevent her from receiving a prize for culture from the Dutch Embassy. 
 
The writer, Woeser, said in a telephone interview in the afternoon that there were police officers downstairs in her apartment building, where she lives on the 20th floor. She said she was unsure of the exact number, but had noticed at least two men in a car outside the main door and others waiting nearby. She said Beijing police officers came to her apartment on Wednesday night and told her she would not be allowed to receive the award. “I told the embassy last night that I probably won’t be able to go this evening,” said Woeser, who like many Tibetans goes by only one name.
 
The embassy is giving Woeser an award from the Prince Claus Fund. The fund’s Web site says the award is given out annually to individuals and organizations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America “for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development.”
 
Woeser, who has written critically of the Chinese government’s policies in Tibet, said she had planned to go the Dutch ambassador’s residence on Thursday at 6 p.m. to have dinner and receive the award. The ceremony was originally to have been at the embassy but was recently moved to the residence.
 
Woeser said the police might stay at her apartment building for a couple weeks or even a month. “I just asked them how long they’ll be there, and they said they don’t know,” she said.
Security in Beijing has been bolstered ahead of the Monday opening of the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which are together known as the lianghui, or “two meetings.” During this time, people deemed to be potential troublemakers are kept under close watch by the police.
 
Moreover, many critics of the Communist Party have been harassed in the past year, as senior officials, especially those in the security apparatus, have apparently watched with growing concern the revolutions that have toppled long-seated dictators in the Middle East.
 
It has also been a fraught year for Tibetans in particular. Since last March, at least 22 Tibetans in western regions have set fire to themselves to protest rule by the Han, the dominant ethnic group in China. Fourteen of those died. In recent months, there have also been clashes between security forces and Tibetans in towns across the Tibetan plateau; in several cases, security forces opened fire with live ammunition, reportedly killing some of the protesters.
 
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