By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, April 21: China’s so called ‘law abiding award,’ announced at a time when over 35 Tibetans have set themselves on fire protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet hasn’t gone down well with Tibetans.
Chinese authorities in Tibetan Autonomous Region
on Thursday held a gala ceremony to give away the first awards for the “Harmonious and Law Abiding Model Monasteries.” Around 6,773 monks and nuns from 59 monasteries and nunneries were awarded the harmonious
prizes along with subsidies such as pension and health insurance.
“Instead of creating harmony and peace, China’s law abiding policy
has created more disharmony and chaos in the region,” Jamphel Monlam, Assistant Director of the Dharamshala based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy told Phayul.
“Because of China’s repressive policies and brutal actions under the name of ‘harmony’ and ‘law,’ monasteries are being shut down and many monks have been forced to leave their monasteries,” Monlam added.
A number of Tibetan monasteries in Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) Prefecture's Diru County were forced to hand over the entire administration and management of the monasteries to groups of cadres sent by the Chinese government last February.
Fed up with the 'patriotic re-education' classes and constant interrogations, monks at the Taklung Monastery and Choelung Monastery had left their monasteries.
In another instance, following the self-immolation of Tenzin Phuntsog, a former monk at the Karma monastery in Chamdo, last December, most of the monks at the monastery were either arrested or fled the monastery in order to avoid growing Chinese repression and surveillance.
Dhondup Lhadar, vice president of the Tibetan Youth Congress said that such awards were a “complete lie” and a “drama enacted against the sufferings of the Tibetan people.”
Since November last, China had implemented a grand plan of deploying 20,000 Chinese officials in Tibetan villages with a mandate to “re-sculpture the minds of Tibetans”.
These Chinese officials have been deputed for a year in the Tibetan villages to “espouse patriotism and love for China” while handing out Chinese national flags and photos of Chinese leaders in large quantities in all Tibetan villages.
This move of penetrating Tibetan villages along with the “Nine Must-Haves” policy introduced in December last, which requires nine items, including portraits of Communist leaders, the Communist flag and a copy of the state-run People’s Daily to be displayed in all temples are amongst the many policies being employed by the Chinese party boss in Tibet, Chen Quanguo.
“Forcing Tibetans to hoist Chinese national flags in monasteries, put up Chinese leaders’ photos in their houses, and forcing them to denounce the Dalai Lama have created un-healing wounds on the hearts of Tibetans,” Jamphel said.