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China ‘re-educating’ Tibetan monastics to practice ‘three consciousnesses’, condemn ‘four movements’

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep27’22) – China began in May this year a new re-education campaign at the monastic centres in Tibet Autonomous Region in which monks and nuns have been ‘taught’ to practice what are called “three consciousnesses” and oppose what are called “four movements”, said bitterwinter.org, the website of a magazine on religious liberty and human rights, Sep 27.

The “three consciousnesses” are imperatives to show loyalty to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese state run by it.

They have been listed as “national consciousness,” “citizen consciousness,” and “rule of law consciousness” as defined by the CPC. “National consciousness,” for example, means supporting the Chinese rule in Tibet and condemning “separatism,” defined by any opposition to or protest against any sort of Chinese government policies and actions.

“Citizen” and “rule of law” consciousness mean learning to obey without questioning the CPC, its Central Committee, and the Xi Jinping leadership, the report noted.

Along with being “educated” on the so-called “three consciousnesses,” monks and nuns have been required to renounce and condemn what the authorities call the “four movements” of the Tibetan people. These are either religious practices of the Tibetan people or silent boycott actions launched by the Tibetan people in protest against China’s brutal military suppression of the plateau-wide, mostly peaceful, Tibetan protests of 2008.

The first of these is the Tibetan religious practice of “Tsethar”, the freeing of animals from slaughter by buying them alive and enabling them to spend the rest of their lives in freedom. While the authorities claim that this practice affects the eco-system, their real concern is said to be the fact that it falls outside the system of dealing with slaughter animals that is rigidly regulated by the authorities.

The second of these is the Tibetan celebration of the Saka Dawa month of fasting. Tibetan religious fervour peaks during this month, especially from the first to the full moon on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar system. The 15th day marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. Tibetans generally abstain from eating meat during this month, especially up to the full moon day, and undertake fasts.

The third of these movements is the Tibetan stoppage of celebrating their New Year called Losar in protest against China’s brutal military repression of the 2008 protests and its lingering effects. It negated China’s propaganda ploy of having restored normalcy and happiness among the Tibetan people, especially for the critics of its Tibet policy and for visiting tourists, after the 2008 protests.

And the fourth of these movements is the Tibetan “farmers’ strike” which began in the Tibetan areas of what are now parts of China’s Sichuan Province in the aftermath of China’s brutal military repression of the 2008 protests. The Tibetan farmers protested against it by refusing to farm their land.


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