China says OK!
Dear students and friends,
I came across this article a few days ago, and was pleasantly surprised to read it. China officially lifted a 17-year-old ban on allowing His Holiness the Dalai Lama photos be displayed in Gaden Monastery, in Lhasa, Tibet.
Gaden Monastery was founded by the head of the Gelug tradition, Lama Tsongkhapa, in 1409. Since then thousands of great scholars have graduated from the illustrious monastery. Many teachers were well-sought after by both sangha, laymen and royalty, including the great Emperors of China.
The Emperors of China deeply valued Buddhism, especially those within the Qing dynasty. They promoted Buddhism across the nation to unite their people…
Yong He Gong (雍和宫), a beautiful temple in Beijing, the capital city of China, was rebuilt in the 17th century. The 16-acre royal palace was transformed into a Tibetan monastery as envisioned by Emperor Qian Long. The design was based on Gelugpa monastic principles… and in the 2nd biggest hall of Yong He Gong, the Falun Hall, sits a 6-meter statue of Lama Tsongkhapa. Restoration works were recently done on the breath-taking statue last year.
China lifts 17-year ban on Dalai Lama photos at Tibet monastery: group
by Sui-Lee Wee
BEIJING Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:47 am EDT
(Reuters) – Chinese officials have lifted a ban on Tibetan monks displaying photographs of the Dalai Lama at a prominent monastery, a rights group said on Thursday, an unexpected policy shift which could ease tensions in the restive region.
The decision concerning the Gaden monastery in the Tibetan capital Lhasa – one of the most historically important religious establishments in Tibet – reversed a ban introduced in 1996, the Britain-based Free Tibet group told Reuters, citing sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
It was made as similar changes are being considered in other Tibetan regions of China, and may signal authorities are contemplating looser religious restrictions and a policy change over Tibet, three months after President Xi Jinping took office.
Chinese officials in western Qinghai province are also considering lifting a ban on Tibetans displaying pictures of the exiled spiritual leader, according to the International Campaign for Tibet, a U.S.-based advocacy group.
It said there were also draft proposals in the region to end the practice of forcing Tibetans to denounce the Dalai Lama, and to decrease the police presence at monasteries.
Officials in Lhasa and Qinghai could not immediately be reached for comment.
Such measures appear calculated to reduce tensions between the Tibetans and the government after a series of Tibetan self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
Beijing considers the Dalai Lama, who fled China in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama, who is based in India, says he is merely seeking greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
Since 2009, at least 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in China in protest against Beijing’s policies in Tibet and nearby regions with large Tibetan populations. Most were calling for the return of the Dalai Lama.
“Tibetans’ reverence for and loyalty to the Dalai Lama has almost no equal among the world’s communities and if this policy is extended beyond this individual monastery as other reports suggest, it will be very significant for the Tibetan people,” Free Tibet spokesman Alistair Currie said.
The new policy at the Gaden monastery and the discussions in Qinghai come after a scholar from the Central Party School published an essay questioning China’s policy on Tibet.
So far, President Xi has said very little publicly about Tibet. His late father, Xi Zhongxun, a liberal-minded former vice premier, was close to the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan leader once gave the elder Xi an expensive watch in the 1950s, a gift the senior party official still wore decades later.
“There’s increasingly a view that due to the critical nature of the situation of Tibet, a discussion of a change in some hardline policies is merited and there’s a need for the Dalai Lama to be involved in some way,” Kate Saunders, spokeswoman for the International Campaign for Tibet, told Reuters.
Saunders said the draft proposals in Qinghai were likely to be implemented either in August or September.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Pravin Char)
[Extracted from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-china-tibet-idUSBRE95Q07E20130627]
Is this article above true or not? See the alternative article below:
China strongly denies lifting ban on the Dalai Lama’s portrait in Tibet
Phayul-Friday, June 28, 2013
DHARAMSHALA, June 28: The Chinese government has strongly denied reports of any relaxation in their decades old policy in Tibet of a blanket ban on the display of portraits of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In a statement to the BBC on Friday, the Chinese state bureau for religious affairs said there had been “no policy change.”
The government maintained that China’s policy towards the Dalai Lama, considered by Beijing a “splittist,” was “consistent and clear”.
“If the Dalai Lama wants to improve his relationship with the Central Government, he must really give up his stance in favour of ‘Tibetan Independence’ or independence in any disguised forms,” the BBC cited the state bureau as saying.
China’s abject denial comes after reports of isolated cases of relaxation in the portrait-ban, as “experimental” measures, came out of Tibet over the past few days.
The London based Free Tibet on Thursday reported that monks at the Gaden monastery, one of Tibet’s oldest and largest institutions of learning, in Tibet’s capital Lhasa have been informed that they can now display picture of the Tibetan spiritual leader, who was forced to flee into exile in 1959.
Reports on similar “experimental” changes in the policy have also come out of two isolated regions in eastern Tibet.
However, Free Tibet added that it would be unwise to speculate on the implications regarding China’s policies in the restive region as the group hasn’t been able to confirm reports on whether the lift on the ban is an isolated case and extends beyond the Gaden monastery.
The BBC noted that they have been unable to confirm this news, despite repeated phone calls to monasteries in Lhasa and in other regions of eastern Tibet.
“Several monks admitted they had heard of possible changes to the government’s long-standing policy, but said they had not witnessed any relaxation in policy themselves,” BBC’s China correspondent Celia Hatton reported.
“Portraits of the Tibetan spiritual leader are still banned, the monks explained. Only officially sanctioned images of the Buddha are permitted to be displayed,” Hatton cited an unnamed monk in Lhasa as saying.
Since 2009, as many as 119 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
Scores of Tibetans have been arrested and disappeared for keeping portraits of the Dalai Lama in their phones or at homes, and singing songs or writing about the Tibetan spiritual leader who relinquished all his political authorities to the elected Tibetan leadership in 2011.
For more than three decades now, the Dalai Lama has been calling for autonomy for his people as guaranteed by the constitution of the People’s Republic of China.
Just last month, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tibet is “an inalienable part of China” and called the Tibetan Nobel peace laureate “a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities in the name of religion.”
[Extracted from: http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=33668&article=China+strongly+denies+lifting+ban+on+the+Dalai+Lama%e2%80%99s+portrait+in+Tibet]