Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 4 News List

China shuts down banned Tibetan writer's two blogs

AP , SHANGHAI

A pair of Chinese blogs maintained by a banned Tibetan writer have been shut down in an apparent attempt to block her distributing her work online, French monitoring group Reporters Without Borders said yesterday.

Woeser's blogs, oser.tibetcul.net and blog.daqi.com/weise, had displayed her poetry and essays, along with work by her husband, writer Wang Lixiong (王力雄).

Attempts to connect to the blogs yesterday were returned with a message saying they did not exist.

One of the blogs' host site, daqi.com, could not be accessed either. The site is one of a number of online forums for discussion of Tibetan culture in Chinese that have recently sprung up.

The closure of the blogs appeared to be a further attempt to silence Woeser, who goes by just one name.

Her collection of travel stories, Notes on Tibet, was banned in 2003, reportedly because it deviated from the official government take on Tibetan history and culture. Woeser was subsequently fired from her editing job at a government-backed journal and forced to leave her home in Tibet's capital, Lhasa.

Notes and two other Woeser books have since been published in Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist government has struggled to rein in free discussion in the blogosphere, which has undergone explosive growth as a favorite means of circumventing strict censorship in the entirely state-controlled press.

In the latest attempt at muzzling, the government last week closed the online forum, China Century, that had hosted relatively free academic discussions.

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