The Chinese Communist Party ordered a series of demolitions of structures of religious significance and detentions of Tibetans resisting it in Draggo County in eastern Tibet.
Culture and religion
The CCP’s current strategy aims to curb the influence of the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism and the Tibetan religious teachers in the mainland Han Chinese Buddhist community.
In the eastern Tibetan areas of Amdo and Kham (incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Qinghai and Gansu), where over half the Tibetan population live, numerous reports have emerged of attacks on Tibetan language and Buddhist study.
Chinese authorities in the Tibetan capital have announced the cancellation of all activities connected to the annual “Shoton” festival, citing the risk posed by the surge in COVID-19 cases in China.
Disturbing footage has emerged from China’s Gansu province, where local authorities shut down a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and ordered the monastics to disrobe.
The Dalai Lama defended religious freedom as freedom of thought while calling for an end to religious conflict in a special video message to the International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, DC last week.
A new code of conduct for members of the Chinese Communist Party in the Tibet Autonomous Region explicitly forbids party members from all forms of religiosity in both public and private life.
In the latest World Heritage Watch Report, the International Campaign for Tibet calls for the first time for designating the UNESCO protected “Historical Ensemble of the Potala Palace,” part of which is Lhasa’s 1,300 year-old Jokhang temple, as a World Heritage in Danger.
The Lhasa City Buddhist Association has circulated a notice dated May 9, 2021 urging Tibetan Buddhists in the Tibetan capital to restrict their traditional religious practice during the holy fourth month of the Tibetan calendar, which began on 12 May.
This report shows how new measures of surveillance and control are threatening to turn the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community into a tool of the Chinese Communist Party.