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Monks at key Tibet temple in new 'education' push

April 27, 2008

Economic Times
25 Apr, 2008

BEIJING: Authorities at a key Tibetan Buddhist temple have launched a
new campaign to strengthen control over its monks and unite them around
love of the Chinese "motherland", state media reported Friday.

The campaign at the Tashilunpo monastery in the city of Xigaze was
focussed on increasing monks' "reverence for the law," the
state-controlled Tibetan Daily said.

The campaign will "strengthen supervision of monks, and to the fullest
extent, strive for solidarity and strike down the small numbers of
stubborn separatists and criminals," it said.

The monastery is one of the most important in all of Tibetan Buddhism as
it is the traditional base of the Panchen Lama, the second-highest
Tibetan spiritual leader behind the Dalai Lama.

China has previously announced it would step up a campaign of "patriotic
education" in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries following an outburst of
violence in the region last month.

However, overseas pro-Tibet groups have criticised the campaign, saying
it typically involves forcing monks to denounce the Dalai Lama and
further inflames anger at perceived religious persecution of the region
by Beijing.

"The campaign will help monks to learn the law, know the law, and
understand the law and raise the idea of obeying the law to a high
level," the Tibetan Daily said of the Tashilunpo education campaign.

"The ultimate objectives include uniting monasteries, in word and deed,
on safeguarding the motherland... and on reverence for the law."

The Dalai Lama's special envoy to the United States, Lodi Gyari,
Wednesday told a US congressional committee that such campaigns were
worsening the situation in Tibet.

"Beijing must now reverse course. Chinese leaders must look to the
underlying causes of the problems... and reach out to His Holiness and
the Tibetan people in the spirit of inclusion and mutual benefit so that
together we can achieve peace in Tibet," he said, according to a
congressional transcript.
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