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China has tasked disappeared monk to translating Tibetan religious texts into Chinese

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(TibetanReview.net, May25’22) – A Tibetan writer and poet in Qinghai Province who has remained disappeared for more than a year after being taken away by Chinese police in 2020 is suspected to be held in a detention centre in the provincial capital Xining, said the Tibetan Service of rfa.org May 24. He is reportedly being forced to translate Tibetan Buddhist texts into Chinese under Beijing’s sweeping ongoing Sinicization of Tibet drive.

Gendun Lhundrub, 47, a monk of Rongwo Monastery in Rebgong (Tongren) County in the province’s Malho (Huangnan) Prefecture, was “arrested” on Dec 2, 2020, while he was on his way to attend a religious debate in Rebgong, the report said.

He was stated to have been put in the back of a black car belonging to the Chinese police and has remained disappeared ever since. He was said to have been under police surveillance for political activities.

“We have learned that Gendun Lhundrub whose whereabouts remained unknown until now is being detained at a detention center in Siling,” the report quoted a Tibetan living in Tibet Autonomous Region as saying.

“However, his family members are still not allowed to see him, and no information about his condition has been revealed.”

The monk is said to be subjected to a political re-education program under which he has to translate Tibetan Buddhist texts into Mandarin Chinese. Under China’s all-round Sinicization drive across the Tibetan Plateau, the Chinese Communist Party requires Tibetan monks to be taught Buddhism only in Chinese language.

Chinese officials were stated to have told the monk’s family in a Sep 2021 phone call that his trial would be held soon, although this does not seem to have occurred so far. Nor is there any suggestion what the charges against him are.

At a major religious conference in Qinghai in Sep 2021, Chinese officials were stated to have issued instructions that Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and study centers must begin translating their teaching materials from Tibetan to Mandarin Chinese, the nation’s “common language”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Sinicization drive was stated to have been cited to make it clear that Tibetan monks and nuns must learn and speak to each other in Chinese instead of their mother tongue.

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