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Tibet builds first Buddhism academy

October 20, 2008

China View (People's Republic of China)
October 17, 2008

LHASA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- A general academy of Tibetan Buddhism, the
first of its kind in the southwestern autonomous region, began
construction of the 80 million yuan (11.7 million U.S. dollars)
facility on Saturday.

The Tibetan Buddhism Academy in Nyetang Town, Quxu County, covers an
area of 17.4 hectares. Quxu is under the jurisdiction of the regional
capital Lhasa.

Its total investment is all from the central government budget.

The first phase of construction will cost about 50 million yuan and
is scheduled for completion in 2010. Its design includes a library
and buildings for religious activities.

"This will be the first comprehensive and high-level Tibetan Buddhism
academy in Tibet," said Lobsang Gyaincain, head of the United Front
Work Department of the Tibet committee of the Communist Party of China.

"The academy will contribute a lot to conducting Buddhist studies and
exchanges with the outside world."

The facility aims to train patriotic and devotional religious
personnel who are widely recognized both in their religious
accomplishments and moral character, he added.

In addition to religious theories, students will also be taught
knowledge of other disciplines such as politics and sociology.

Currently, Tibet has more than 1,700 religious venues accommodating
about 46,000 monks and nuns.

Since the 1980s, the central and local governments have invested more
than 700 million yuan for the preservation and maintenance of
monasteries and cultural relics in Tibet.
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