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Seminar held to reinterpret Tibetan Buddhism to justify China’s policy in Tibet

The Tibetan Buddhism College is located in Nyethang Township, Chushur County, Lhasa. Photo shows a panoramic view of the Tibetan Buddhism College. (Photo courtesy/eng.tibet.cn)
The Tibetan Buddhism College is located in Nyethang Township, Chushur County, Lhasa. Photo shows a panoramic view of the Tibetan Buddhism College. (Photo courtesy/eng.tibet.cn)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul02, 2015) – In order to ensure that Tibetan Buddhism subserves communist China’s agenda under the euphemisms of integration of the motherland and national unification, a Second Seminar on New Interpretations of Tibetan Buddhism was convened at the Tibetan Buddhism College in Nyethang Township of Chushur County in Lhasa City, Tibet Autonomous Region, over Jun 23-24, according to China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn Jun 29. The report said the participants discussed theses from the five sects of Tibetan Buddhism and researched ways to adapt Tibetan Buddhism to the socialist society.

The report suggested that the seminar was in keeping with China’s Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s remarks at the recent Central United Front Work Conference in Beijing that “religion should be guided to adapt to the socialist society and strive to serve promoting economic development, social harmony, cultural prosperity, national unity, and national unification”.

In his opening speech, Drukhang Thubten Khedrup, president of the Tibet Branch of Buddhist Association of China and dean of the Tibetan Buddhism College, has said that adapting Tibetan Buddhism to the requirement of the socialist society entailed the masses of religious people joining hands in undertaking the historic mission of consciously upholding the integration of the motherland and ethnic unity, and making greater contributions to Tibet’s leapfrog economic development and lasting social stability.

The report said a total of 47 theses from the five major sects of Tibetan Buddhism – which the report named as Gelug, Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu and Kadam – were presented at the seminar, reinterpreting the religion to serve communist Chinese goals in Tibet.

The report said they gave new interpretations of the religious doctrine by fully exploiting the positive factors of Tibetan Buddhism, namely carrying on the Tibetan Buddhist traditions of “patriotism” and so on, “citing the classic Buddhist scriptures and the maxim of eminent monks, in accordance with the requirements of the times and social progress”.

The report added that 32 experts and leaders from the China Tibetology Research Center, the High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China, Academy of Social Sciences of Tibet, and other scientific research institutes were invited to attend the seminar.

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