(TibetanReview.net, Jul21’23) – Chinese authorities have on Jul 19 used violence to disrupt yet another major Buddhist teaching event in eastern Tibet for which preparations had been completed, with devotees from far and wide already having gathered, waiting for the teaching lama’s arrival.
Tearing down tents and destroying a colorful sand mandala art for the planned Kalachakra teachings, the authorities broke up the gathering at Athi Monastery in Mangra (Chinese: Guinan) county of Qinghai Province, saying the event had been cancelled, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jul 20.
The much-sought teaching among Tibetan Buddhists was to be given by the monastery’s abbot, Lama Kalsang Tashi Gyatso.
“The authorities have erased and wiped out all the related photos and news of the Kalachakra teachings online,” a Tibetan living in Tibet Autonomous Region with knowledge of the situation has said. “The authorities have also started interrogating those who have already shared news and photos about the Kalachakra.”
Preparations for the teaching, which only a relatively few Tibetan Buddhist masters are qualified to give, can take days, including on the preparation of the intricately designed sand-mandala art piece.
Organizers had paid more than 200,000 yuan (US$27,700) to secure the venue for the event and already bought food supplies and other necessities that had now gone to waste, the report cited the anonymous source as saying.
“Though Qinghai’s Department of Religious Affairs had already granted permission to organize this Kalachakra teaching (following repeated appeals over a long period of time), now there are so many Chinese police deployed all over the venue where it was supposed to take place, and people have been forced to leave the premises,” the source has said.
The latest Chinese action followed a similar one taken in a Tibetan region in neighbouring Gansu Province last week. The organizers had taken all requisite permissions for holding the Kalachakra teaching, which was to be given in Tsoe (Hezuo) City of Kanlho (Gannan) Prefecture, by a prominent lama, the report said. But the event was cancelled when it was about to begin.
“The local Tibetans are certain that the central Chinese government has instructed the local authorities to curb such large religious gatherings,” the report cited another Tibetan source with knowledge of the situation as saying.