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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."

Revised Tibetan Buddhists constitution says no to separatism

February 19, 2009 2009-02-18
(Xinhua is the official press agency of the Communist Party of China and
the government of the People’s Republic of China)

LHASA, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Tibetan Buddhists revised their association
constitution Wednesday, calling on lamas and nuns to safeguard social
stability, abide by the law and not to participate in separatist activities.

The revision was unanimously endorsed at the annual congress of the
region's Buddhist association which began Monday and closed Wednesday.

Monks and nuns should "safeguard social stability, the socialist legal
system and fundamental interests of the people", and should "consciously
keep themselves away" from separatist activities and illegal
demonstrations that impair social order, the new constitution said.

It urged monks to "see clearly that the 14th Dalai Lama is the
ringleader of the separatist political association which seeks 'Tibet
independence', a loyal tool of anti-China Western forces, the very root
that causes social unrest in Tibet and the biggest obstacle for Tibetan
Buddhism to build up its order."

The revision was made as a response to the unrest in last March under
the backdrop of a complicated international situation and new problems
that had emerged in monasteries, said Pencog Cering, secretary general
of the Tibet Branch of the Buddhist Association of China (TBBAC).

"Monks should love their country and be loyal to their religion," said
Chubakang Tubdain Kaizhub, TBBAC chairman, adding that to strictly
follow Buddhist doctrines is to abide by law.

About 250 living Buddhas, monks and nuns from different sects of Tibetan
Buddhism attended the congress, which started with a half-hour
sutra-reciting ceremony Monday morning at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.

Also on Wednesday, 36 monks and nuns and 10 monasteries including the
Zhaxilunbo Monastery in Xigaze were awarded the title of "patriotic and
law-abiding" models by the Tibet Autonomous Regional Ethnic and
Religious Affairs Committee.

"The monks and nuns and monasteries have safeguarded the unity of the
country and contributed to the promotion of social stability over the
past years, especially during the March 14 riot in 2008 in Lhasa," said
Tenzin, a senior official with the committee, on the award-presenting
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