On Dalai Lama birthday, Tibet traumatised!

Chinese authorities in Tibet are tightening restrictions across the region as the birthday of the exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama (July 6) approaches, according to Radio Free Asia. Displays by Tibetans of the Dalai Lama’s photo or public celebrations of his birthday have been met with harsh punishment in the past.


In 1959, the Dalai Lama, who turns 80 this year, fled Tibet in the midst of a failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule. He lives in exile in India.

Chinese authorities circulated a new list of ‘prohibited behaviours’ a source from a county in Qinghai province’s Golog (Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture told RFA.

“The authorities in Pema [Banma] county have posted a document listing “20 Points for Stability” in the area,” the source said.

Among other prohibitions, the directives state that Tibetans are forbidden to raise slogans for Tibetan independence, hoist the banned national flag, or compose or sing songs calling for freedom for Tibet, he said.

“Tibetans are also not allowed to organize activities related to the birth anniversary of the Dalai Lama or display his photos,” he said, adding that Tibetans may also no longer publicly celebrate the release of prisoners jailed for their protest activities.

Sporadic demonstrations challenging Chinese rule and calling for the Dalai Lama’s return have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China. Widespread protests swept the region in 2008, and so far, as many as 141 Tibetans have setting themselves on fire in protest.

Religious gathering banned

Chinese authorities in neighbouring Sichuan have banned a two-week religious assembly at the Jonang monastery in Dzamthang (Rangtang) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a second source said.

The gathering, during which the monastery’s 3,000 monks would have hosted formal debates on religious topics, was scheduled to begin on June 8, it is learnt.

Local Chinese officials issued a decree banning the event, saying that since the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday celebrations in July have been banned, the gathering at Jonang is also being banned, the broadcaster reported.

Dzamthang’s Jonang monastery had previously been the site of several self-immolation protests challenging Beijing’s rule in Tibetan areas, “which led to increasingly severe restrictions by the Chinese authorities,” the source said. “Nowadays, the monastery is under tight control by Chinese police.”


Dalai lama

Dalai lama

It was also reported that in Gansu province’s Machu (in Chinese, Maqu) county two Tibetans identified as the organizers of a horse race planned for June 10 to 13 were arrested. The race was open to contestants from Tibet’s traditional Kham and Amdo regions, but participants could enter only on the condition that they save the life of at least one animal and dedicate the merit of the act to the Dalai Lama’s long life, RFA reported.

No details on the present condition or whereabouts of the men—one named Jamyang and the other unidentified—who were taken into custody are available, but local officials have now forbidden public gatherings at the proposed venue for the race and deployed security forces at the site, according to Tibetan media reports.


[Prepared by intern Sonali Singh for Newsnet Desk]

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Posted by on June 12, 2015. Filed under Breaking News,Interns,SOUTH-ASIA,Tibet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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