Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

China’s efforts to control Tibetan religious expressions escalate

Organizing such teachings requires extensive preparations, as many devotees come from near and far to attend

Update : 26 Jul 2023, 01:04 AM

Chinese authorities disrupted a gathering in northwestern China's Qinghai province where a Tibetan Buddhist lama, Lama Kalsang Tashi Gyatso, was scheduled to give the sacred Kalachakra teachings.

During the incident, the authorities tore down tents and destroyed a colorful sand mandala. In their efforts to control and suppress Tibetan religious and cultural expressions, the Chinese government also attempted to block online photos and descriptions of the event.

Such actions have become increasingly common in recent years, with the authorities strengthening laws to control religious teachers, demolishing Tibetan religious sites, and closing religious schools.

The Kalachakra teachings are highly revered and significant in Tibetan Buddhism, with only a few qualified masters, including the Dalai Lama, being authorized to impart them.

Organizing such teachings requires extensive preparations, as many devotees come from near and far to attend.

The Chinese government's cancellation of the Kalachakra event resulted in wasted resources, including the venue payment and purchased supplies.

Tibetans in the region had long appealed for permission to organize the Kalachakra teaching by Lama Kalsang Tashi Gyatso, and although the Qinghai Department of Religious Affairs initially granted permission, the event was ultimately canceled with a heavy police presence deployed to disperse the crowd.

This incident is not an isolated case, as a similar event with a prominent lama giving Kalachakra teachings was also canceled in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture despite prior permission.

Many Tibetans believe that the central Chinese government has instructed local authorities to curb such large religious gatherings, leading to disappointment and frustration among devotees.

The suppression of Tibetan religious and cultural practices continues to be a contentious issue, with the Chinese government taking measures to control religious teachings and expressions within the region.

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