Communist Party officials use press conference to introduce a range of new policies and restrictions
Tibetan Buddhists at Sera Monastery in Lhasa have been instructed to show gratitude to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and stand resolutely against separatism. The orders came at a press conference held at the monastery on 13 March, in which those present were also instructed about a range of new CCP regulations on religion and online activity.
The press conference was led by the Director of the monastery’s management committee, Lhapa Tsering, alongside other management committee leaders. It was supported by the regional and local branches of the United Front Work Department, a CCP body that plays a key role in managing Tibetan affairs.
More than 320 people attended including: monks, police from the station adjoining the monastery, the monastic cadres of the management committee, the officers and public security team of the fire brigade, as well as representatives of the Resident Duty Units who are stationed in the institution.
Among the key messages of the conference was the need for all monks to show gratitude to the CCP, to follow it and to listen to its words. Tibetan Buddhists were told that they are expected to practice their faith patriotically and obey the Chinese government’s laws by safeguarding the unity of the motherland and standing against separatism.
During the conference, Tsetan Dorjee, the abbot of Sera Monastery and a member of its management committee, requested that those present comply with a new range of restrictions on online behaviour known as the Twenty Prohibitions. Introduced in February this year, the Twenty Prohibitions forbid a range of practices on Chinese social media applications WeChat and Weibo. The full list can be seen below.
Further CCP policies were highlighted by Jampa Kalsang, the Director of Propaganda and Education of Sera Monastery’s management committee. He informed those present about the ‘Four Standard’ policy, which is to be observed alongside educational and other activities promoting a second policy, called ‘Four Speaks and Four Loves'.
Speakers at the conference also stressed the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs.
The conference took place against a backdrop of intensifying efforts by the CCP to take control of Tibetan Buddhism. Last December, state-run media reported on Chinese authorities in the Tibetan Autonomous Region awarding hundreds of monks from across the region for their loyalty. Similarly, this year Free Tibet raised cases in Chamdo, in eastern Tibet, where monasteries have undergone patriotic re-education and had been forced to participate in PRC flag raising ceremonies.
‘Four Standard’ Policy
1) Comply with the standard on political reliability, and strive to be advanced monks and nuns with a steady and distinctive stance.
2) Obey the standards on religion by creating harmony, and strive to be advanced monks and nuns for diligent study and strenuous training.
3) Follow the standards of moral integrity capable of obedience to public, and strive to be advanced monk and nuns for law-abiding and noble morality.
4) Obey the standard that work at the critical times, strive to be advanced monks and nuns for playing active role.
‘Four Speaks and Four Loves’
1) Speak the party’s gratitude while love the core.
2) Speak the unity while love mother land.
3) Speak the contribution while love home.
4) Speak the civilization while love life.
The Twenty Prohibitions
Tibet Watch, Free Tibet’s research partner, have translated the ‘Twenty Prohibitions’ notification which consists of the following rules:
1) To forbid the use of communication network tools to organize, participate, incite the subversion of country, undermine national unity and activities related to overthrow the socialist system.
2) To forbid the use of communication network tools to insult and make defamation about others.
3) To forbid the use of communication network tools to organise, participate, incite religious extremism, violent terror, fraud and illegal activities.
4) To forbid the use of communication network tools to illegally provide undisclosed information of the state to domestic and foreign organisations, institutions and individuals.
5) To forbid the use of communication network tools to collect, produce, download, store, release, spread and disseminate subversive information including undermining national unity and overthrowing socialist system.
6) To forbid the use of communication network to collect, produce, download, store, release, spread, publicize the information of the religious extremist thoughts, violent terror and deception and fraud.
7) To forbid the use of communication network to provide aid and facilities, funds, places, personnel, transportation and communication network for the activities of the subversion of state power, violent terror and religious extremism.
8) To forbid the use of communication network tools to fabricate and disseminate the information of provoking ethnic relations, making ethnic contradictions and inciting ethnic hatred.
9) To forbid the use of communication network tools to organize and use superstitious cult and religious organization for example by undermining the implementation of law.
10) To forbid the use of communication network tools to incite violence against the implementation of law and people to be gathered and mob to disrupt the social order.
11) To forbid the use of communication network tools to organize and participate in illegal gathering, demonstration and marches.
12) To forbid the use of communication network tools to illegally accept funds from domestic and foreign organisation, institution and individual.
13) To forbid the use of communication network tools to establish, participate in illegal organization for conducting illegal financial activities.
14) To forbid the use of communication network tools to fabricate and disseminate the information about the false and unreal dangers, epidemics or disasters..
15) To forbid the use of communication network tools to operate unauthorized international networking by establishing and using illegal channel through international networking.
16) To forbid the use of communication network tool to illegally obtain, sell, provide, use personal and citizen's information.
17) To forbid the use of communication network tools to engage with hackers attacks, theft and fabricate or spreading false information.
18)To forbid the use of communication network tools to participate, cheat citizens to involve in guns ammunition, flammable, explosive, goods including activities of pornography, gambling and drug crimes.
19) To forbid the use of communication network tool to provide technical support to illegal internet access ,server hosting , cloud storage and communication transmissions ,or advertising promotion for cyber-crime activities.
20) To forbid the use of communication network tools to set up illegal websites, communication group (e.g Wechat groups), spreading secret information or the use of communication network tool to join such websites, communication group(s)to browse, receive and release illegal information, or the use of communication network tools to disrupt public network facilities.
Information supplied by Tibet Watch.
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