Chinese authorities in Tibet are randomly searching monasteries and forcing monks to sign documents renouncing all ties to the “separatist” Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s foremost spiritual leader, Tibetan sources living in exile told Radio Free Asia.
The Dalai Lama is widely regarded by Chinese leaders as a separatist intent on splitting Tibet, a formerly independent nation that was invaded and incorporated into China by force in 1950, from Beijing’s control.
The Dalai Lama, who now lives in exile in India, says only that he seeks a greater autonomy for Tibet as a part of China, with guaranteed protections for Tibet’s language, culture and religion.
RFA reported last year that China began requiring Tibetans working in official government positions to renounce all ties to the Dalai Lama as a condition of employment. Authorities appear to be including monasteries under this rule.
Beginning this month, Chinese authorities conducted searches of monasteries in Shentsa (in Chinese, Shenzha) and Sok (Suo) counties on the premise of maintaining security, a Tibetan living in exile, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“The authorities search all the residences of the monks and the main shrines in the monasteries,” the exile said. “The monks of Shartsa Monastery are also forced into renouncing ties with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and be a part of anti-Dalai Lama groups.’
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