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"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?"

Restrictions on Karmapa photographs in Chamdo

August 21, 2010

By Tenzin Tsering
Phayul
August 18, 2010

Dharamsala, August 18 -- Chinese authorities in Tibet's Chamdo region
are warning Tibetans against displaying or keeping in possession
pictures of the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, head of the Kagyu sect of
Tibetan Buddhism who fled his monastery in Tibet in 2000.

Radio Free Asia reported that Tibetans are not permitted to keep his
photographs either as amulets or display them in motor vehicles, a
traditional Tibetan practice to protect against misfortune.

The young head of Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism made headlines when
he arrived in Dharamsala on January 5, 2000. Ogyen Trinley Dorjee is
now 25 and lives near Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan exile in
government. He is considered close to the Tibetan leader, the Dalai
Lama whom China accuses of engaging in "splittist" activities and
calls "wolf in monk's robe."

A Tibetan man who recently arrived in Nepal from Tibet was quoted as
saying, "Last year, in Chamdo's Shankou, Karmapa's photos were
outlawed in an announcement made by the Chinese authorities." The man
also said Chinese police confiscated lockets containing photos of
Karmapa from monks in the Tibetan capital Lhasa's Lugug neighbourhood.

Robbie Barnett, a Tibet scholar at Columbia University called the
Chinese move as "surprising" and of significant concern because
China's official policy on Karmapa is he can return to Tibet anytime.

"It's not totally inconceivable that there may be two policies: 'He
can come back, we are not condemning him publicly. But you are no
longer allowed to have pictures,'" Barnett told RFA.
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