2015/11/10

Document Exposes Intensification of State-sanctioned Religious Repression in Troubled Tibetan County

Chinese authorities have intensified anti-religious campaigns by systematically converting Tibetan monastic institutions into Chinese government offices and the monastic population into Chinese Communist Party members in Diru (Ch: Biru) County in Nagchu (Ch: Naqu) Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), in Kham province.
These campaigns, implemented by the local County government and party through a new regulation, has severely curtailed the right to freedom of religion and belief of local Tibetans, particularly the monastics many of whom have been expelled and punished, as the authorities exercise absolute control over the functioning and administration over religious institutions.
TCHRD recently obtained a copy of Document no. 224 issued by the Diru County government on 19 September 2015 that calls for the intensification and deepening of the campaign to purge and reform religious institutions. The document contains a set of regulations divided into three chapters, 24 sections and 74 articles and has been circulated among relevant County, Township/town level offices, Monastery Management Committees, relevant management committees, monastic and village based permanently stationed cadres.
The regulation identifies and targets 24 activities through which religious institutions (monasteries, temples and hermitages) will be “purged and reformed” in Diru County. For instance, the Chinese authorities will keep an account of all monastic properties, and retain the sole authority to decide over their storage and repair. The authorities will monitor and control religious gatherings and ceremonies restricting local Tibetans from organizing or participating in important religious rituals.

Chinese authorities in Tibet have ordered the destruction of houses built in traditional style in three counties outside the regional capital Lhasa, with their replacement by Chinese-style dwellings scheduled for completion in five years, according to a local source.

Demolition and construction will begin in 2016 in Tagtse (in Chinese, Dazi), Lhundrub (Linzhou), and Maldro Gongkar (Mozhugongka) counties, located outside Lhasa city, a resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“We are being forced to accept and support the plan without any choice,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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