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China bans Tibetans from 80th birthday-honouring of exiled head of their top monastery

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug05’22) – China has ordered leaders of two counties that are presently part of its Sichuan Province to prevent the local Tibetans from honouring the exiled head of their most influential monastery, including by any kind of online posting, on the occasion of his 80th birthday on Aug 8, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Aug 4.

And the local authorities have threatened to arrest Tibetans in the two counties – Ngaba (or Ngawa, Chinese: Aba) and Dzoege (Ruo’ergai) – who defy the order on the birthday of the 11th Kyabje Kirti Rinpoche, whose full name is Lobsang Tenzin Jigme Yeshe Gyamtso Rinpoche.

Rinpoche resides in the Kirti Monastery in Dharamsala, India.

Last year too, Chinese authorities restricted monks of Kirti Monastery in Ngaba and it branch Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in Dzoege, both in Ngaba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, from celebrating Rinpoche’s birthday in 2021, the report said.

To enforce the restriction, the authorities prevented monks from leaving their monasteries and did not permit any gathering to take place around what was an auspicious day to the local Tibetans.

Tibetans in the two counties, including those living in exile, have planned to mark Rinpoche’s 80th birthday with the offering of a tenshug (long-life) prayer ceremony.

“In one post circulating among some online Tibetan chat groups, members have been warned not to talk about the Kirti Rinpoche or his birthday and to be careful,” the report quoted an exile Tibetan source as saying. 

Kirti Rinpoche was born in Thewo Takmoe Gang in the Amdo region of Tibet. He was enthroned at Taktsang Lhamo Kirti Monastery in 1946 after he was recognized as the reincarnation of 10th Kirti Rinpoche.

He left his homeland along with tens of thousands of fellow-Tibetans in the aftermath of China’s annexation of Tibet in 1959. He undertook advanced study in Buddhism in India, where he also took his higher vows of monkhood from the Dalai Lama in 1962.

He held various positions under the exile Tibetan administration from the late 1980’s.

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