China tightens controls to deter self-immolations in a restive Tibetan prefecture

Chinese authorities are tightening controls in an ethnic Tibetan region where at least 10 people have set themselves on fire last month to protest Chinese rule.

The state-run, web-based Qinghai News said Thursday that Huangnan prefecture in western Qinghai province is stepping up patrol of public areas with police and military forces and setting up checkpoints to keep foreigners out of the Tongren area, home to the restive Rongwo monastery.

It says the prefecture will thoroughly account for inflammables, monitor likely trouble makers, and organize propaganda teams to condemn self-immolations. Authorities will confiscate illegal satellite dishes that allow local residents to receive anti-China programs from abroad and replace 3,000 television sets in monastery dormitories.

China has blamed the Dalai Lama for the spate of self-immolations.