By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 1: Chinese authorities have recently imposed a requirement to denounce the exiled spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama among Tibetans seeking public sector employment in Tibet, according to Radio Free Asia.
A directive issued by the Chinese government this month stated that individuals applying for public sector jobs to be deemed “trustworthy and reliable citizens,” by denouncing the Dalai Lama, abstaining from any form of separatism, and pledging unwavering loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A source inside Tibet told RFA that it is difficult for college graduates in Lhasa to find jobs. “I have been observing this for a while. A female graduate may find a very regular job of childcare in childcare centers, but it’s impossible to get a government job,” the same source said.
Following a workshop convened by Chinese authorities in October, over 400 teachers and students in the Ngari prefecture of western Tibet were compelled to participate in a workshop on “anti-separatism.” During the workshop, attendees were instructed to express their loyalty to the state ideology and condemn any beliefs or actions associated with separatism, including what the authorities categorised as “separatist ways” of the Tibetan spiritual leader. Moreover, explicit directives were given, prohibiting the engagement in any religious activities within the premises of educational institutions.
The recent directive imposed by Chinese authorities violates China’s constitution, which officially maintains the protection of freedom of religion through the legislative provisions, and that these legal safeguards are consistent with the main provision of international agreements. However, the latest official measures, experts say, demonstrate that constitutional, legal, and administrative frameworks intended to safeguard religious freedom are, in practice, utilised to curtail and suppress religious sentiments, particularly within the Tibetan Buddhist community. These measures instead of providing protection of religious affairs are aimed at enforcing compliance with government regulations and policies.
In addition to the recent implementation of new measures, Chinese authorities persist in conducting ongoing “patriotic re-education” campaigns targeting monks and nuns within monasteries and nunneries in Tibet. Experts view this continuous effort as a component of China’s broader strategy aimed at suppressing Tibetan cultural, linguistic, and religious practices. This initiative aligns with a larger agenda to assimilate the distinct Tibetan identity into the dominant Han-Chinese majority, all while prioritising patriotism and unwavering loyalty to the state.