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Tibet: News Tibet China Bans Religious Ceremonies During Tibetan Election

China Bans Religious Ceremonies During Tibetan Election

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22march2011000212000Dharamshala: - A large number of armed troops were sent into Ngaba county, eastern Tibet and a more strict clampdown than before was imposed during the exile Tibetan election and after recent protest in the region, according to a report received by The Tibet Post International. In particular on March 20, in an unusual intensification of the clampdown, at monasteries and communities all across the county.

Losang Yeshe and Kanyag Tsering from Kirti monastery in exile, Dharamshala, Monastery officials and community heads were told to ensure that no firecrackers were burst, no incense offerings made, no Lungta (wind-horse) thrown, and so on. Among Tibetans it was said that this was because exile Tibetans were holding elections for a new Kalon Tripa that day, and it was to prevent Tibetans in occupied Tibet from celebrating the occasion.

On that day, officials from Sichuan province and Ngaba prefecture arrived at Kirti monastery in Ngaba, and announced that any monk who needed to leave the monastery must first take a letter of guarantee from his class tutor, one from the relevant disciplinarian, and one from the govt officials now stationed at the monastery. Monks could not leave the monastery without these permissions.

On March 21, the newly arrived officials announced that they would be starting a new session of reeducation under the name of the ‘Patriotic Religion' campaign. At 8 am local time, the officials came to start this session, but there were no monks in attendance, so they harried the monastery officials to rectify this. The monastery officials went to individual monks' rooms asking them to assemble in the courtyard of the main assembly hall, and more than 200 of them obeyed.

The officials started their speeches about 10 am, while another group of officials went into many of the monks' rooms to order them to attend. On the first day, the meeting was led by the head of Ngaba prefecture religious affairs department. He strongly criticised the administration and ordinary monks of Kirti monastery, saying they had failed to abide by the law of the nation, the needs of local security, the unity of nationalities, social stability and so on, enumerating many demonstrations that had taken place at various times, and in particular, said that those who had snatched the heroic Puntsok out of the hands of the police were guilty of murder.

He also said that there was a group/cell of monks dedicated to the practice of self-immolation with n the monastery, and that they (the govt) would have to join with the monastery authorities to stamp it out.

Among the officials conducting the reeducation there is one group from Sichuan province state law office, one group from Ngaba prefecture including from the United Front department, another group from Ngaba prefecture including the religious affairs dept, and a work team from Ngaba county including the county chief.

The schedule for the reeducation sessions is from 8 am to 12 pm, and from 2 pm to 6 pm. However, as so few monks turned up on the first day, they were all told to stay in their rooms on the morning of the 22nd, whil officials came round all the dormitories registering the number of resident monks, their names and ages. Only in the afternoon did the assembly resume in the main courtyard.

 


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