“Last battle” against Tibetan spiritual life

Following a week-long extraordinary meeting of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party in Lhasa, the Tibet Central Committee launched a “Last Battle” against the Dalai Lama, aimed at eradicating any vestiges of the exiled spiritual leader’s influence from all levels of society. Their report stipulated that the anti-splittist campaign, launched in the region’s monasteries this year, must be broadened.

The Committee signalled the adoption of “administrative measures to resolve the uncontrolled proliferation of religious festivals and shrines”. The report stressed the strengthening of controls over daily life in Tibet which must also involve the close supervision of literature and the arts to ensure that they fulfil the socialist role of “serving the people” rather than propagating “spiritual garbage”.

The Committee vowed to deal severely with “any monks or nuns whose religious activities or superstitions affect industrial production or daily life” and, identifying Tibetan youth as the key battleground, called on every school in the region “to push socialist teachings and focus on political and ideological education”.

In response to news of China’s latest campaign against Buddhist Tibet, Mr Tempa Tsering, Secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration in India said, “China is playing with fire”.

“With the excuse of uprooting so-called splittism, Beijing’s term for Tibetan nationalism, China is forcing the closure of many monasteries and restricting religious practice, thus striking at the root of the cultural and spiritual identity of the Tibetan people”, the senior official said, warning, “China’s last battle against Buddhist Tibet and the Dalai Lama bodes ill for both Tibet and China”.

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