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Chinese surveillance unit set up inside Tibetan monastery for more intrusive control

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(TibetanReview.net, Feb17’22) – Chinese government interference in the routine functioning of a monastery in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Prefecture of Qinghai Province has become more intrusive recently with the setting up within it of a police station, said the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Feb 16. It said officers manning a surveillance unit operating inside Palyul Thartang Gonchen Monastery now keep a close watch on the monks.

Such police officers have already put pressure on some young monks to leave the monastery to attend schools run by the Chinese government, the report cited an exile Tibetan with knowledge of the situation as saying.

The authorities already had a surveillance police unit put up outside the premises of the monastery and the new one has been set up inside it, near the community hall, to scrutinize the monks and their daily activities, he has said.

The monastery now has surveillance cameras installed by police all around the monastery, enabling officers to monitor the monks round-the-clock.

Also, the monks have been made to install a monitoring app in their mobile phones to enable the police to identify contacts and track conversations, making it unsafe for them to communicate with Tibetans in exile.

“It is absolutely true that Tibetans are under surveillance by the Chinese government, but recently surveillance of Tibetans has intensified, and new surveillance tactics are being introduced which require Tibetans to install an app on their phone devices,” Golog Jigme, a former political prisoner from the area now living in Switzerland, has said.

Police and military barracks operating outside major monasteries has a common sight in Tibet after protests hit most of Tibet in 2008.

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