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China asks Tibetan monks to cut ties with Dalai Lama

China considers the Tibetan supreme spiritual leader a 'separatist' who intends to split Tibet from Chinese control

China asks Tibetan monks to cut ties with Dalai Lama

Chinese authorities force monks from the Shartsa Monastery to sign a declaration that they are against the Dalai Lama and separatism. (Photo: Citizen Journalist via RFA)

Published: June 27, 2023 10:36 AM GMT

Updated: June 27, 2023 11:36 AM GMT

Chinese authorities in Tibet are conducting searches on monasteries and forcing monks to sign documents that require severing all ties with Dalai Lama, the supreme spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, says a report.

Beginning this month, Chinese authorities conducted searches of monasteries in Shentsa and Sok counties on the premise of maintaining security, said a Tibetan living in exile on the condition of anonymity, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on June 26.

“The authorities search all the residences of the monks and the main shrines in the monasteries,” the exile said.

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“The monks of Shartsa Monastery are also forced into renouncing ties with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and be a part of anti-Dalai Lama groups,” the source added.

Last year, RFA reported that China began requiring Tibetans working in official government positions to renounce all ties to the Dalai Lama as a condition of employment.

Dalai Lama, who is living in exile in India for decades, is considered a “separatist” by China who intends to split the formerly independent region from Chinese control.

Chinese forces invaded and annexed Tibet in the 1950s, claiming it has been always an integral part of China.   

The Dalai Lama said that he only seeks greater autonomy for Tibet within China with a guarantee for the protection of Tibet’s language, culture, and religion.

In a photo received by RFA from Tibet, the Shartsa monks are seen signing their names on a board on the wall. 

The text on the board states that “We will rigorously take part in opposing the Dalai Lama clique and will remain loyal and devoted to the country [China].”

As part of their searches, the authorities have been scrutinizing the monks’ prayer manuscripts and books, and removing prayer flags from shrines, said another exiled Tibetan, who declined to be named.

“They did not give any sort of warning before conducting these random searches,” said the second exile. “The monks in these monasteries were summoned for a meeting where they were forced to sign documents renouncing the Dalai Lama and separatism.” 

China’s annexation of their land angered Tibetans who consider the act an occupation by a foreign force. A Tibetan uprising in 1959 against Chinese rule was brutally crushed by China.   

For years, Tibetans have struggled and sacrificed their lives for independence despite Chinese oppression.


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