By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, March 30: Imposing new restrictions on monasteries in Rebkong County (Qinghai province) in Tibet’s Amdo province, the Chinese authorities have stepped up restriction on display of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama’s pictures, the Radio Free Asia
“During the month of March, the Chinese authorities imposed unprecedented restrictions on the display of the Dalai Lama’s photo in Rebkong’s Rongwo Monastery and in other monasteries,” a Tibetan from Rebkong now living in Europe told RFA.
Monasteries and other Tibetan Buddhist institutes were all ordered to comply with four restrictions issued by the Chinese government officials.
“Shrines and temples that refuse to follow the instructions could be closed,” he said, adding that these restrictions were imposed just this year, but were planned years ago.
The authorities have ordered monasteries to remove all the statue and photos of the Dalai Lama failing which the monks in charge would be expelled from the monastery and prosecuted, the same source said.
He added that the monks in charge of the monasteries would be responsible for the safety of all the idols, monastery property and that they must stop fellow monks from participating in any activities that would be disgraceful to the monasteries, including putting up posters against Chinese policy in Tibet and involvement in self-immolation protests.
In order to directly control all the monasteries, the government set up Management Committees in 2012 and it was enacted to ensure the monastic populaces do not take part in protest or self-immolations. The monasteries are required to strictly follow the leadership of Management Committees stationed permanently in the monastery premises.
Moreover, the custodians of shrines and temples were made to sign on the management committee instructions to hold them responsible for the policy.
One to two monks are assigned a local government staff member to educate the monks on official rules and policy mentioned in the government issued booklet. The officials will be accountable if the monks commit offence against the rule and policy.