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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Chinese Communist party demands reforms in Tibetan monasteries

August 20, 2010

Daily News and Analysis -- India (DNA)
August 16, 2010

Beijing (PTI) -- A fresh purge appeared to be in
the offing in Tibet with a top leader of the
Communist Party of China calling for reforms in
Buddhist monasteries by appointing monks and nuns
who are "politically reliable".

In a move that could be aimed at weeding out
pro-Dalai Lama elements in the clergy, Du
Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department
of the Party's Central Committee, also demanded
that "greater, concerted and solid efforts" must
be made to implement democratic management in the monasteries.

"Concerted and solid efforts must be made to
implement democratic management in Tibetan
Buddhist monasteries," Du was quoted as saying by
the state-run Xinhua news agency, in what
appeared to be a fresh effort to strengthen
government's hold on Tibet's influential
religious centres in the politically sensitive Himalayan province.

"Competent Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns who
are politically reliable, extraordinarily learned
and widely respected should be selected to
monastery management committees through thorough
democratic consultation," he said.

As per the prevailing rules, the posts of all the
top monks known as Lamas have to be made with the
approval of the Chinese government.

Du, also vice-chairman of the National Committee
of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference, made the remarks of sweeping changes
in the powerful clergy in Tibet during a two-day
conference on democratic management of Tibetan
Buddhist monasteries at Xigaze in Tibet
Autonomous Region, which began yesterday.

His remarks were timed even as another powerful
Communist Party leader He Guoqiang, a member of
the Standing Committee of the Politburo undertook
a tour of the politically sensitive province
visiting the Potala Palace, which was the seat of the Dalai Lamas.

Tibet's provincial capital Lhasa witnessed large
scale riots in 2008 before the Beijing Olympics
in which large numbers of Tibetan mainly monks were killed.

The riots were directed against non-Tibetans in
which several monks reported to have taken part.
Chinese government blamed the Dalai Lama for
instigating the riots, which he has denied.

Du said that in implementing monastery democratic
management, the lawful rights of monasteries,
orderly religious activities of monks and nuns,
and normal religious practice of believers must be ensured.

Monasteries play a very vital role in Tibet where
Buddhism and Monks or heads of various sects of
the religion wields spiritual and political influence over the masses.

Many of the top monks of Tibet including the
Dalai Lama, the spiritual head, who fled to India
in 1959 were selected through the complex process
when they were children and then graduated through these institutions.

The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu,
regarded as the second spiritual head of Tibetan
Buddhism sent a congratulatory message to the
conference which was attended by some 150 people
from Tibetan Buddhist circles and relative governmental organisations.
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