(TibetanReview.net, Sep27’19) – China’s celebrations of its nationally important days in Tibet have always been occasions for orchestrating make-believe events fortified by tightening of repression and it is especially so for the upcoming Oct 1 National Day celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A video released by the official Chinese media on Sep 22 at Galden Jampaling Monastery in Chamdo City of Tibet Autonomous Region shows thousands of Tibetan monks praying to, and voicing their loyalty to, the People’s Republic of China and the ruling Chinese Communist Party, said London-based group Free Tibet Sep 26, citing its research partner Tibet Watch.
The group noted that in an effort to demonstrate widespread Tibetan support for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its rule, authorities in Tibet had been holding a series of events to mark the anniversary.
It said one of these events was a competition and exhibition held at various monasteries, schools and institutions across Tibet on the theme of “Me and the Motherland”. Tibetans have been encouraged to display or express gratitude for CCP and endorse the official CCP narrative that the Party has brought development, prosperity, and liberation to Tibet.
In the Chamdo video, the monks were stated to show uncharacteristically singing together in one voice while waving Chinese flags. The lyrics of the song were: “Me and my motherland, unable to be separated for a moment; Long live the Motherland”, the group said.
Besides, monks could be seen hoisting a Chinese flag on the rooftop of the monastery and also hanging thangkas with images of five Chinese leaders on the monastery wall. Thangkas traditionally depict Buddhist deities and have religious themes. Monks have played leading role in Tibetan resistance movement against Chinese rule and they constitute the vast majority of people who have carried out self-immolation protests.
A banner with the line “May the great Communist Party last ten thousands of years” could be seen hanging above the main entrance door of the monastery main building, the group said. Tibetans traditionally pray for their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as well as other prominent religious figures, to last for tens of thousands of years.
The Chamdo video was reported to show Mr Tsering Norbu, Secretary of the Party Committee of Jambaling Monastery’s Management Committee, as saying all monks “should be grateful, feel the party, listen to the party and go with the party” reiterating official policy, which promotes patriotism and conformity among Tibetans. He was also stated to show demanding that all monks adhere to the leadership of the CCP and the socialist system, work for unity and stability and implement Xi Jinping’s vision of Tibetan Buddhism.
And Tsunglo-Shamba Khedu, a vice-chairman of Tibet Autonomous Region government and abbot at the Jampaling Monastery, was cited as exhorting the monks to appreciate the fact that ”the party’s kindness is deeper than the ocean and heavier than the mountain”, that they should “bravely stand up and expose the 14th Dalai Lama’s reactionary thoughts”, and that monks should be a model of patriotism and love for the party.
Participating in the 70th anniversary events with displays of patriotism and love for the party and China is said to be compulsory.