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China steps up repression during religious festival in Tibet

June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014 - Reports coming out of Tibet indicate that Chinese authorities are making every effort to restrict the number of devotees and tourists congregating at Mount Kailash, particularly during Saka Dawa, one of the most sacred months observed by Tibetans. Saka Dawa is celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calender, falling this year on 13 June. The day is very auspicious and sacred for Buddhists as the Buddha was born, got enlightened and achieved Pari-Nirvana on this day.

A source also confirms that the government officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region have been ordered not to take their annual leave from the month of April to September this year. Any government official found taking leave during these months shall be dismissed from their posts, it said.

Similar restrictions have also been imposed on general Tibetans in Tibet. The Chinese authorities have also stopped issuing new or renewing old passports to Tibetans, the source said, adding that those who have already obtained their passports in the past have been asked to submit it back to the authorities. It is also reported that any Tibetan found to be attending the Kalachakra teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Leh in India in July this year would face deprivation of their them-tho (Chinese: Huokou), a household registration system.

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