Monasteries in Kandze under harsh new purge, restrictions

29, August 5

The authorities have been carrying out new sweeping and harsh crackdown especially on monasteries in Kandze prefecture, reported Jul 27 and International Campaign for Tibet, Washington, Jul 30. Individual monk and nun troublemakers face expulsion, imprisonment and loss of right to practice religion. Troublemaking monasteries could be closed down. And reincarnate lamas could lose recognition as the holders of their reincarnation lineage besides other punishments.

Signed by Li Changping, the prefecture head, the document, dated Jun 28, records decisions made by the local Communist Party cadres’ executive committee. The targets are monasteries, monks and nuns who participated in illegal activities aimed at inciting the division of nationalities, such as shouting reactionary slogans, distributing reactionary writings, flying and popularizing the “snow lion flag” and holding illegal demonstrations to incite splittism.

The document outlines three sets of measures targeting three categories of offenders. The first part deals with monk and nun troublemakers. Under it, those who had committed only minor offences and have admitted the same in a written self-criticism are to be sent home for re-education under the charge of the head of their households. Those who had committed more serious offences but shown readiness to admit the same would be held in custody to undergo re-education, after which they are expected to confess and submit a written self-criticism. Those who are guilty of serious offences and remain stubborn in refusing to confess are to be expelled from their monasteries, denied the right to practice religion and be subjected to custodial re-education. Finally, those accused of instigating splittism and creating disturbances, hatching conspiracies, forming organisations and taking a leading role in such activities are not only to be expelled from their monasteries and denied the right to practice religion but will also be judicially tried. In case other monasteries admit them, the heads of their management committees will be held responsible for supporting and harbouring splittists and dealt with severely.

The second part deals with troublemaking monasteries. A monastery where 10 to 30 percent of the monks had participated in disturbances will be sealed off, all its religious activities suspended and its residents banned from going out, for they will be cleaned up and rectified in the proper manner. The monastery’s financial control and all other management functions will be suspended in case management committee member were also involved in disturbances. Those who refuse to co-operate with the work committee conducting the rectification will be expelled from the monastery and banned from practicing religion and their residences at the monastery demolished. The same will be the fate of those who failed to take a clear stand on the unity of the motherland or reject separation of nationalities. The strength of monks and nuns in a monastery will be reduced in accordance with the number of those expelled from it while those who were involved in disturbances but not expelled must re-register. A management committee that fails to prevent the monks and nuns under them from going out again to make trouble will be investigated, with the possibility of their religious center being removed from the list of registered religious institutions.

The third part deals with Management Committees of monasteries specifically. It required the monks, Tulkus, Khenpos, Geshes and others in a management committee to not only take a clear stand in favour of the Chinese government and its policies but also to be effective in controlling the monks and nuns under their charge. Those who either fail to make their attitude clear or take a two-faced stance would be subjected to examination before the monastic assembly and be required to give a written guarantee of good conduct, which will be publicized repeatedly in newspapers and on television. Such officials who send out secret reports or collude with foreign separatists, assist in disturbances, tolerate them, or incite others will be severely punished by law. They will lose all their government granted posts and be banned from practicing religion. Tulkus will be deprived of their right to hold their reincarnation lineage and the financial affair of their monasteries will be examined and dealt, including by being publicized in prefectural newspapers and on television.

Earlier, the head of the Tibet Autonomous Region’s propaganda head had said it was necessary to “clear out the monasteries” in the region. Kandze has seen more protests recently than in any other Tibetan populated areas under Chinese rule despite the fact that especially severe repression was already being implemented there from Aug 2007.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here