Dharamsala Urges Beijing to lift the Ban on the Photographs of His Holiness The Dalai Lama
21 November 2003: The Central Tibetan Administration expresses deep concern over the reported order given by the Chinese authorities to Tibetans in Lithang and Karze – in the “Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” in present-day Sichuan province of the People’s Republic of China – to surrender portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama or lose ownership of their lands.
We believe such measures by the Chinese authorities are deliberately provocative. If true, such deadlines even violate China’s constitution which guarantees the freedom of religion. Tibetans under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama wage a non-violent movement and under no circumstances will indulge in violence. Beijing’s methods to ban the photographs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama or engage in abusive words against His Holiness the Dalai Lama hurt the inner core of the feelings of Tibetans. We believe these measures are intended to provoke Tibetans so as to avail the Chinese authorities the excuse to conduct further clampdown upon the Tibetans.
While reiterating our appeal that the ban on the display and possession of the portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama be immediately lifted, the Central Tibetan Administration calls upon the Chinese leadership to withdraw the deadline issued to Tibetans in Lithang and Karze.
We also remain deeply concerned about the latest attempts by the Chinese authorities to intensify their so-called “Anti-Dalai” campaign to undermine the personality and authority of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Equally disturbing is news from “Karze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” where the authorities reportedly announced in August this year that the possession of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s photographs, books or recorded material, such as cassettes or VCDs, were banned with routine checks at homes and businesses in the region and that a 4000 yuan ($US 500) fine would be imposed on any government official found with a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Thubten Samphel/Sonam N. Dagpo
Department of Information and International Relations
Central Tibetan Administration