DHARAMSHALA: The Chinese government authorities in a Tibetan region sharing borders with India have issued stringent directives to exclude Tibetans with “overseas connections” or having devotion and loyalty to the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama from village committees of the Chinese Communist Party and government.
According to a report by Washington DC based International Campaign for Tibet, the new conditions for candidates for village committees, both for the Party and for the Government, in Ngari Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), specify that candidates, not only must be “politically trustworthy”, and capable of “gaining support of the masses”, but that they will be excluded if they have attended any of the Dalai Lama’s teachings, have “overseas connections” or even “communicate overseas”.
The ICT has translated the official announcement from Chinese into English.
The new provisions, which the group said may also apply in other areas of Tibet, do not feature in the ‘Organic Law of the Villagers Committees of the PRC’ introduced in 1987 and formalized in 1998.
“Scholars have debated whether elections at the village level across the PRC constitute a ‘Trojan horse’ for genuine democracy, or simply a project to attain regime legitimacy. The conditions outlined in Ngari underline the different political circumstances in Tibet compared to elsewhere in the PRC, and highlight the pervasive and aggressive nature of the anti-Dalai Lama campaign”, the ICT said in its report published on its website.
The ICT said Beijing has adopted a strategy of actively establishing Party presence in rural areas as its answer to 'instability’ since protests swept across Tibet in 2008. “This has led to a more pervasive and systematic approach to 'patriotic education' and a dramatic increase in work teams and Party cadres in rural areas of the TAR as well as well-resourced initiatives in the cultural and social sphere in Lhasa and other urban areas.”
While these measures are being enforced across all Tibetan areas, implementation is particularly acute across the Tibet Autonomous Region, the ICT said.
The ICT cited a Tibetan woman in her forties recalling a visit of a Chinese work team to her home area in the TAR. The women told the ICT that the young Chinese and Tibetan cadres stayed at her house for two weeks. “They asked many questions, about our family background, from 1959 onwards, whether we have relatives and friends in India or outside Tibet, and whether we had any family members or relatives who were involved in the 14th March  incident,” She was quoted as saying.
“They listened to our conversations and took notes. They went to all the rooms in our house and looked around; they seemed to be looking for any suspicious items such as books and photos of His Holiness. We did not have household numbers in our village, but the work team gave numbers to every house, and the Chinese girl drew a map of the village, and took lots of photographs both inside and outside the houses, and of our daily movements.”
“How important is Dalai for you and your family and do you want him to pray when you die?' One of them said that he would not take notes or report it to the authorities, but that he really wanted to know how important His Holiness is in our life. I told him that I believe His Holiness and that he is truly a Buddha, and that if you pray for him, you will be happy and kind. I admitted that I love and pray for His Holiness and I can't ever remove my faith from my heart.”