China Issues Rule Manual to Tibetan Monasteries in Amdo on the eventuality of Dalai Lama’s Passing

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 11 April: A manual, containing a list of 10 rules, including the ban on displaying the Dalai Lama’s photo in the event of his demise, has been distributed in monasteries in the Amdo region of Tibet by Chinese authorities, reported the RFA on 9 April.

The manual, directed at Tibetan monks, prohibits them from disputing the process of recognising the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation, RFA said citing a source from Tibet whose identity has been withheld for safety reasons.

The Chinese government has, on numerous occasions, blatantly claimed the right to recognise the reincarnation of Tibet’s spiritual leader, while the Dalai Lama himself has clarified to the world that his reincarnation will be born in a free country without Chinese interference to continue his legacy as per tradition.

The rules directive also forbids Tibetan monks from engaging in what they call “illegal religious activities and rituals.” Moreover, it warns them against engaging in activities that “undermine national unity, social stability, and cooperation with separatist groups outside the country,” in clear warning against contacting and subscribing to the Tibetan freedom movement in the exile community, including the Tibetan government in exile known as Central Tibetan Administration.

Chinese authorities’ broad usage of the term ‘threat to national unity and social stability’ broadly judges anything they deem a threat without clear boundaries and prosecutes without fair trials.

Furthermore, the manual states that no “illegal organisations or institutions” will be allowed to enter monasteries and that the education system for monks cannot harbour elements of “separatist ideology.” Additionally, it prohibits the promotion of “separatist ideas and the dissemination of separatist propaganda” via radio, the internet, television, or other means, whether covert or overt, according to the report.

The rules in the manual though are not particularly new policies. Chinese authorities in Tibet have been intensifying their control and surveillance of Tibetans while also implementing policies of sinicization across all spheres of Tibetan identity, including religion, language, and culture, among others.

During a short address at a long-life offering ceremony at Tsuglakhang in McLeod Ganj on 3 April, the Dalai Lama assured that he is in good health while reiterating that he will live for another 15-20 years.

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