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27october20102Dharamshala: Ven. Tsering Phunstok, minister of the Department of Religion and Culture, held a press conference in Dharamshala today (27th October), to emphasize his objection to the regulations by Chinese officials regarding religious practice in Tibet.

The statement came in reaction to the State Administration of Religious Affairs of the People's Republic of China who on the 30th September 2010 issued "a regulation on the administration of Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries." The regulation relates to the how China will manage the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism.

Tsering recounted the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, which states that "Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination," calling the recent regulation "proof of the fact that the citizens of the People's Republic of China do not have religious freedom and that the country is ruled by man and not by law."

He continued by saying "The religious heads and scholars of Tibetan Buddhism as a whole are, currently, living outside Tibet. Hence, the lineage of the sacred Buddhist teachings and initiations can be said to be existing in the exile Tibetan community."

He added that "this regulation is an evil design on the part of the Chinese government to obstruct the Buddhist teaching and its sacred transmissions inside Tibet and makes it extremely difficult for the monastic institutions to undertake important religious activities. This is also a means employed by the Chinese government to not only destroy the tradition and study of Tibetan Buddhism but also uproot the monastic institutions and the transmission of Buddhist teachings in these centers of learning by diluting the spiritual bond between teacher and pupil."

He concluded his statement with a clear message to the Chinese officials, saying that they repudiate "this injunction of the Chinese government" and "express our strong opposition to it."