Beijing boasts of efforts to promote patriotism throughout Tibet.
On 21 February, Chinese state-media boasted of educating 800,000 Tibetans in the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China over the past year and a half. The party attributed this success to the 9,000 seminars held and 70,000 copies of publicity materials distributed across the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR).
In Chamdo, in eastern Tibet, state media has reported that in total 1,142 residential work teams have been deployed in all the villages in the prefecture. Monasteries in Chamdo’s Markham and Jomda counties have also experienced heavy restrictions.
Late last year, Free Tibet reported on an initiative pushed by the local United Front Work Department (UFWD) and the Ethnic and Religious Department that saw 42 religious figures from Chamdo’s monasteries undergo training. This re-education aimed to promote the 19th Party Congress and the Communist Party's policies for strengthening of national unity.
In a similar effort, Tibet Watch have recently highlighted, mandatory flag raising ceremonies have been held for monks and nuns outside temples in Chamdo. Again, pushed by the UFWD, the raising of the People’s Republic of China flag, alongside political training, is designed to reinforce loyalty to the party-state.
Such rituals should come as no surprise given the important role of Tibetan Buddhism within communities across Tibet, and the Chinese Communist Party's longstanding goal of controlling Tibet's religious institutions.
Free Tibet has reported on similar events taking place in the recent past. In December 2018, representatives from more than seventy TAR Buddhist institutions were invited to a commendation ceremony in Lhasa, where 7,034 monks and nuns were given scarves and recognised with awards.
According to Tibet Daily, another state-run media outlet, following the 19th National Congress more than 20,000 party cadres have been sent to local villages, in addition to 7,000 to temples, to preach the party’s message to the Tibetan populace.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch.
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