In Brief

March wasn´t a great month for Julius Caesar, and historically it hasn´t been an easy one for Tibet either. For the third consecutive year, the Tibetan Autonomous Region is currently closed to foreign travellers, and will remain so for the next four weeks at least.

Monocolumn is Monocle’s daily bulletin of news and opinion. Catch up with previous editions here.

March wasn´t a great month for Julius Caesar, and historically it hasn´t been an easy one for Tibet either. For the third consecutive year, the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) is currently closed to foreign (i.e. non-Chinese) travellers, and will remain so for the next four weeks at least.

The month-long lockout is a preventive, ­ some might say superstitious, ­ move by the Tibet Tourism Bureau (TTB), connected to various troubled Marches in the TAR´s history. In 1959, the first major uprising against the occupying Chinese began on 10 March. In 2008, small protests began in monasteries on the same date, quickly escalating into riots and violence until late in the month. The region was closed to outsiders that year until late June, in part to prevent them from influencing internal policies.

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