Communist Party celebrations boycotted in Nangchen

5th July 2011

Eight monks have been detained for allegedly calling on locals not to attend celebrations to mark the foundation of the Communist Party.

The monks are from Surmang Monastery in Nangchen County in Yushu Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Tibet.

The local government announced plans to celebrate the completion of the rebuilding of houses that were damaged in last year's Yushu earthquake. However the celebrations were scheduled for 1 July, which is the 90 year anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Monks at the Surmang Monastery in Nangchen County put up pamphlets and leaflets around town calling on locals not to attend the ceremony as they believed it was in reality a celebration of the foundation of the CCP.

It is believed that due to lack of attendance the ceremony was called off. Those who turned up received blankets from the government as presents.

On 10 July a meeting was called to discuss the situation. The meeting was attended by local leaders and religious personnel where pressure was put on Sarmong Monastery. Reportedly government officials said that the monks who confess to putting up the pamphlets would receive a more lenient punishment.

On 11 July 8 monks from the monastery gave themselves up. They are believed to be detained in Nangchu Township.

Another meeting is scheduled to take place among local leaders to discuss the future of the monastery.

Background: China is celebrating the 60 year anniversary of its occupation of Tibet as well as the 90 year anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party. While celebrations about the occupation are restricted to the Tibet Autonomous Region, events focusing on the foundation of the CCP are happening in all Tibean areas and in China.

Dalai Lama birthday celebrations: Meanwhile thousands of defiant Tibetans celebrated the Dalai Lama’s birthday on 6 July, despite the Chinese government banning any celebrations for the Dalai Lama and banning the gathering of crowds a few days before. The celebrations took place on a sacred mountain in Tawu County in Kandze Autonomous Prefecture in eastern Tibet, an area heavily populated by nomads.

Protests and crackdown In Kandze: 13 Tibetans are believed to be sentenced for taking part in protests in June calling for the return of the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet, while dozens others remain in detention.