Agam's Gecko
Monday, July 28, 2008
Kardze town (click for full size)
"Eyewitnesses in Kandze said that troops armed with automatic rifles marched and were bused throughout the town of Kandze and surrounding villages from October 17 to 24." (2002) Kardze Monastery is at the upper right.
Photo: International Campaign for Tibet

arlier this month, we carried the revelation of China's secret plot to "tame" Tibet, as published by the Times of London after a classified publication was acquired by the paper's Hong Kong bureau. Containing transcripts of policy speeches given by Party leaders in Tibet, this material showed that behind the facade of diplomatic talks presented in public, a severe increase in political repression is in the cards for Tibetans.

An emphasis on "propaganda work" was laid out by Tibet's Communist Party boss Zhang Qingli, who acknowledged to his Party audience that "we are far from final victory." The chief of "propaganda work" in Tibet, Lie Que, summed up the policy prescription like this:
"We must clean out the monasteries and strengthen the administrative committees," he said, "After that we will absolutely control them."
Today, more information on this secret plot to purge Tibetan monasteries is provided by the Telegraph's Richard Spencer. An official document posted on the government's Tibet information website (in the Tibetan language only) gives the most detailed account to date of the CCP's planned program of repression, in particular within Tibet's religious institutions.

Kardze town
A street scene in Kardze town, September 28, 2006.
Photo: Ottmar Liebert
The document is signed by Li Changping, chief of Kardze "Tibetan Autonomous" Prefecture, and records the decisions reached by the prefecture's Communist Party executive committee. The objective is to punish monks and nuns having "attitude problems" with dismissal or jail. Monastery abbots and other religious leaders who fail to change their attitude, or fail to carry out orders to "re-educate" monks will be replaced by Party appointees.
Even monks who committed "minor crimes" will be sent home for "re-education", reads the document. More serious offenders will be jailed until they recant, while those with "serious crime and attitude problem" will be dismissed from their monasteries.

"Masterminds" of "splittist" activity will be subjected to the full force of the law. If they find shelter at another monastery, its management committee, even if appointed by the Party, "will be considered a supporter and protector of splittists and disruptive elements". The inclusion of this threat suggests the government may be having difficulty controlling its own appointees in monasteries.

Harmonious society
The most drastic action is promised against monasteries where a substantial percentage of monks were involved in protests - a figure ranging from ten to 30 per cent. "All religious activities at the monastery will be halted," it says. "Movements of monks will be closely monitored."

All monks or nuns at these monasteries will be required to "re-register". Those who fail loyalty tests will be dismissed and their accommodation demolished, the document warns.
Let's hear it for Hu Jintao's "harmonious society."

Spencer is intrigued with the explicit threat against the Party's "Democratic Management Committees" within monasteries. These are Party-appointed committees which are in place to monitor and control the activities of the monks, and are installed in every such institution.

A number of the accounts of crackdowns and arrests in the past few months have included members of the DMC's as targets. These are supposed to be the loyal Party watchdogs, but evidently the Party is losing some loyalty among them as well. I would say that the inclusion of this threat doesn't just suggest the government is having difficulties controlling its own appointees, it confirms it.

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