Join our Mailing List

"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China launches renewed "Patriotic Education" Campaign across all sections in Tibet

April 25, 2008

Dharamsala, April 24, 2008 (TCHRD) - The Chinese authorities in the
"Tibet Autonomous Region" ('TAR') and other Tibetan areas in neighboring
provinces have launched a two-months renewed "Patriotic Education"
campaign covering almost every sections of society beginning primarily
with the monastic institutions, party cadres, security forces and
government employees, farmers and private entrepreneurs, educational
institutions and common people, to denounce the Dalai Lama and the
"splittist forces" in the coming two months.

Following the recent series of protests across the "TAR" and the non-TAR
regions by Tibetans, the Chinese authorities launched a renewed
"Patriotic Education" campaign as it was earlier concentrated primarily
in the monastic institutions long considered as the bastions of
political dissidence, covering almost every section of Tibetan
communities with more rigor and intensity. The stipulated two-months'
renewed "Patriotic Education" campaign launched at the begining of April
following unprecedented protests across Tibetan plateau since 10 March,
was reinvigorated and targeted only the monastic institutions but also
government employees, security forces, farmers, nomads and privated
enterpreneurs, educational institutions. The principle and underlying
message of this campaign was to "vehemently oppose the Dalai 'clique'"
and "to expose the true nature of 'Dalai clique'" and "March 14 riot".
Under the supervision of the Communist Party leaders, new committees
were formally formed to formulate and execute the campaign across all
sections of the society within two months stipulated time period.

Under the three themes, the renewed "patriotic education" campaign aimed
to 'educate' the masses about 'opposing splittism', 'protecting
stability' and 'backing development', by holding meetings, inviting
experts to give speeches, teaching and discussing the contents of the
'patriotic education' campaign, holding denunciation session of the
Dalai Lama and screening propaganda shows and teaching chinese laws and
regulations.

According to the state run newspaper, Tibet Daily, dated 18 April, a
two-month 'patriotic education' campaign was launched in Zangri County
in Lhoka Prefecture, "TAR" for government employees, peasants, retired
government employees and party members across all townships under Zangri
County, pledged and reaffirmed the work ethics for the party cadres. The
Zangri County People's Armed Police (PAP) and security forces were told
that it was a right time to struggle and protest against the 'splittist'
forces. The heads of townships and PAP under those townships were
'educated' about securing stability and further improving the national
security. In various educational institutions, students were
indoctrinated with communist ideology and taught how Tibet has
flourished under its rule and denounced the old and backward Tibetan
society by showing films from the period of the Cultural Revolution.
Peasants, nomads and private enterpreneurs were told about the economic
development achieved and happy life enjoyed by the Tibetans under the
patronage and policy of the Communist party. For the monastic
institutes, under this campaign monks and nuns are 'educated' to be
patriotic towards nation, one's religion, oppose 'splittist' forces, to
help maintain social stability, social legal institutes and to restore
religious order.

At the beginning of this month, alongside intensification of security,
the Chinese authorities have ordered more stringent ideological
education and ramped-up propaganda in Tibet "to build anti-separatist
sentiment", according to the Tibet Daily, a state run newspaper of 3
April 2008. Under this campaign, "work team" are sent to especially in
monastic institutes on a regular basis to undertake this campaign no
matter whether monastic populace are willing to attend or not but are
compulsorily made to attend. The "TAR" Communist Party chief, Zhang
Qingli ordered harsh punishments for local party officials found lacking
in their commitment to Beijing's official line. "We absolutely will not
condone violations of political and organizational discipline and will
definitely find those responsible and mete out harsh punishment". He
even told that efforts should be made to focus on negative portrayals of
Tibet prior to the Communist invasion in 1950, and continued
vilification of what Beijing calls the Dalai Lama's secret campaign to
split Tibet from China and sabotage the Olympics, according to the state
run newspaper Tibet Daily.

On 3 April, more than eight people including monks were shot dead and
dozens left injured after fellow monks of Tongkor Monastery in Kardze
County, staged a peaceful demonstration calling for the release of two
monks arrested earlier on 2 April for objecting Chinese "Patriotic
Education" campaign in the monastery.

On 11 April, the "TAR" authorities sent the "Legal information
Education" "work team" as a part of the "patriotic education" campaign
in Drepung Monastery, who were confronted by the monks of the monastery
against visit of the "work team" to conduct the campaign and later
detained by the authorities. There is no information on the condition
and whereabouts of those detainees. However, according to the Chinese
official mouthpiece, Xinhau, dated 11 April, reported that a patriotic
education group has arrived at the monastery "to help maintain social
stability, socialist legal institutions" and "restore religious order"
but suppressed the protest and detention of monks in its report and
cited "TAR" government as saying the officials involved in the
"patriotic education" campaign throughout Tibet "have received the
understanding and support of monks and religious followers". Mr. Zhang
Qingli, the "TAR" Communist Party chief visited the Drepung Monastery on
18 April 2008.

On the same day on 18 April 2008, the "TAR" Communist Party chief Zhang
Qingli visited Sera Monastery giving assurance to the monks that "the
Communist Party committee and government of Tibet would protect the
legal rights and interests of patriotic and devouts monks and nuns". The
Xinhua reported that the Buddhist service have resumed after being
suspended due to Lhasa 'riot' bu the official mouthpiece completely
skipped the report of the detention of around four hundreds monks of the
monastery in the early morning raid in Sera Monastery. There is no
information on the condition and whereabout of those detained from the
monastery.

On 12 April, a special meeting was convened among the representatives of
the various monastic institutions under all eighteen counties of Kardze
"Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture" ("TAP") at Dartsedo and instructed to
commence the "patriotic education" campaign immediately across all
religious institutions in Kardze.

According to official media reports, the campaign was reinvigorated
across Lhasa city, educational departments in Lhasa, in Lhoka and Chamdo
Prefecture.

On 3 April, monks of Wara Monastery in Jomda County, Chamdo Prefecture
"TAR" confronted and challenged the "work team" from carrying 'patriotic
education' campaign by saying 'even at the cost of our lives we will
never defame and denounce our religious leader, the Dalai Lama".

On 14 April 2008, the PAP forces ransacked the residences of monks of
Tsang Monastery in Kawasumdo County(Ch: Thunde Xian), Tsolho "TAP"
Qinghai Province, confiscated pictures of the Dalai Lama.

On 21 April, Dorjee Tsering, Lhasa City Mayor, has told that the
"Patriotic education" campaign will be a standard litmus test for the
party cadres.

With the launch of renewed "Patriotic education" campaign especially in
the monastic institutions, which are originally set up for providing
religious practitioners with a conducive environment for meditation on
religious contents and for achieving inner peace, are being forcibly
re-functioned to serve the Party as a production machinery of loyal
political followers. Freedom of religion for Tibetan Buddhists would
mean that authorities cease not only with their controls and
restrictions in Tibetan Buddhist institutes but most importantly cease
mixing up a party's ideological messages with religious traditions. Any
attempts, the violent destructive ones well as the nearly unperceivable
ones that operate through indoctrination and manipulation, any attempts
to assimilate politics and religion into a political version of religion
are gross downfall against a people's right to freedom of their
religion. The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD)
calls for the immediate end to the practice of conducting so-called
"patriotic education" campaign in Tibet and allows the normal religious
practice to flourish in the monastic institutions.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank