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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Despite Brutal Crackdown, Tibet Religious Circles Make Generous Donations to Quake-battered Region

June 12, 2008

By Phurbu Thinley
Phayul (India)
June 10, 2008

Dharamsala, June 10 -- Keeping aside the scars of Chinese
government's crackdown, treatment of Buddhist monks and repression on
monastic communities in Tibet, Tibetan Buddhists and local temples in
the so called Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) have donated generously
to help quake battered-Sichuan Province.

Donations from local temples and religious people of Tibet Autonomous
Region have totaled 1.17 million yuan (168,982 U.S. dollars) for
quake-battered Sichuan Province, the Chinese state news agency reported Monday.

"Monks also donated individually," the report quoted a Communist
official in the region as saying.

Temples in Tibet have also been holding various Buddhist religious
services to pray for the dead in the May 12 massive earthquake,
according to the state media report.

Donations were received from the Jokhang Temple (100,000 yuan),
Ramoche Temple (20,800 yuan), Zhaibung (Tib: Drepung) Monastery
(34,000 yuan), Sera monastery (38,000 yuan) and the Gandan Temple
(25,000 yuan), the official said.

Monks from these monasteries have been subjected to worst crackdown
by Chinese military troops in recent protests against China's rule in
Tibet. Protests were first carried out by Drepung monks in the
Barkhor area of Lhasa on March 10. Monks from other monasteries,
joined by public, also led a series of protests in other parts of
Tibet decrying China's rule and lack of religious freedom, and
calling for the return of their exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

Chinese authorities swiftly suppressed the demonstrators using brute
force. Many of the monasteries, where these monks belong to, are
still known to be under lockdown in the brutal crackdown, which the
Tibetan government-in-exile claims has left 203 Tibetans killed and
over 1,000 more injured.

The monastic communities in Tibet have been the centre of target with
Chinese government reining a tight control over their spiritual
affairs. Tibetan Government-in-exile claims that one main target of
the China's current policy of repression is Tibetan Buddhism.

The Communist authorities set up "Democratic Management Committees"
to control monasteries and nunneries and established "Work Inspection
Teams" to supervise the "education" of monks and nuns. These
government controls have been heightened following the recent
widespread unrest in Tibet.

Outside Tibet, Tibetan exiles and Buddhist heads, including the
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai lama have been
offering regular prayers for the victims of the earthquake in Sichuan Province.

Chinese state media, the latest death toll from the quake has climbed
to 69,142 on Monday. A total of 374,065 people were reportedly
injured after the quake jolted Sichuan Province and the neighboring regions.
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