News and Views on Tibet

Tibetan teacher detained for expressing joy at watching Dalai Lama’s recent clip

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By Tenzin Nyidon 

DHARAMSHALA, April 21: A Tibetan teacher in Tibet whose name is kept confidential for security reasons was reportedly arrested by Chinese authorities during the school’s morning assembly for expressing his joy at seeing a video clip of the recent incident of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s playful interaction with the young Indian boy, according to information obtained by the Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD).  

Following his sentence, the teacher remarked, “Even though we lack the good fortune of meeting His Holiness, it is a blessing to be able to watch him online albeit in a distorted way. This is an auspicious sign that His Holiness will return to Tibet soon. We, teachers and students alike, must pray wholeheartedly as the opportunity to watch him online is as auspicious as meeting him personally.”  

“China has widely and systematically banned images of and discussions about His Holiness the Dalai Lama by detaining and torturing Tibetans in Tibet. But a recent viral video of His Holiness is being circulated widely on Chinese social media sites such as Weibo. Chinese online users are given a free rein to make malicious attacks against His Holiness,” TCHRD stated.

A netizens on his social media handle wrote, “Chinese government had been censoring and banned the portrait of HH Dalai Lama but allowing the recent clip, hoping to tarnish his reputation, but instead Tibetans in Tibet are having a glimpse HH Dalai Lama after many decades.”

In January 2016, the Police and the Bureau of Religious Affairs issued a notice on the ban of displaying the spiritual leader’s portrait in the autonomous region. Hanging the Dalai Lama’s image “was same as displaying Saddam Hussein’s image would be for Americans,” the campaign said. Tibetans who are found possessing his photos or videos are arrested by the Chinese authorities, are also charged with “separatism” and the photos are forcibly taken away.  

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