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Tibetans dismayed at China’s last-minute cancellation of a major religious teaching event

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(TibetanReview.net, Jul15’23) – Chinese authorities in a historically Tibetan territory in Sichuan Province have suddenly cancelled a major Buddhist religious event it had already sanctioned for this month, citing the anniversary of the re-demarcation and renaming of a neighbouring Tibetan territory as Chinese, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jul 14. The organizers are now planning the event next month, which might reveal whether the reason cited for the cancellation was only a pretext.

The seventh Gungthang Rinpoche Lobsang Jamyang Geleg Tenpe Khenchen was scheduled to give a Kalachakra teaching in Dzoege (Chinese: Ruo’ergai), Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture, in Sichuan Province, where he was born, the report cited two Tibetans with knowledge of the situation as saying.

The Rinpoche is an influential religious figure from Labrang Tashikhyil Monastery in Sangchu (Xiahe) county of Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in neighbouring Gansu province. Both Ngaba and Sangchu were parts of the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo (or Domey).

“The Kalachakra was scheduled to begin in July in Dzoege, but just when it was about to commence, the authorities cancelled it,” the report quoted a local Tibetan as saying, after requesting anonymity to be able to speak freely.

He has said the authorities cancelled the event saying July was the month of Gannan Prefecture’s 70th founding anniversary and hence the Kalachakra event had to be cancelled.

Preparations for the event were said to have been going on since June, including with the confirmation of the venue and pitching of tents on it.

Tibetan Buddhists were now said to hope the authorities would allow the Kalachakra teaching to be held in August.

Thousands of devotees from many nearby Tibetan areas of Amdo, such as Machu, Luchu, Thewo, Dzoege, Shagdom, Jhamey, Thangkor and other regions, were stated to have planned to attend the Kalachakra teaching; so, the cancellation was a huge disappointment to them.

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