Beijing announces policies to 'strengthen ethnic unity' in Tibet

Xinjiang officials have often used similar regulations to justify the repression of the Uyghurs.  Government, companies, community organizations, villages, schools, military groups and religious centers in Tibet are called to support the Party's project.

 


Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - As of May 1, new regulations will come into force in the Autonomous Region of Tibet (Tar) to "strengthen ethnic unity," announce Chinese state media.  Four years ago, Beijing adopted similar policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xuar).  Local government officials often use them to justify repressive measures against the Uyghur minority and other Turkic Islamic communities.

According to reports published in the Tibet Daily yesterday, the TAR People's Congress approved the new rules two days ago.  The Communist Party newspaper said that the regulations will impose responsibility for the government, businesses, community organizations, villages, schools, military groups and centers of religious activity to work on the ethnic unity.  They are called upon to support efforts to develop local trade, tourism and craft industries and to build local brands.  All members of society are also encouraged to "integrate the ethnic unit into the management and culture of companies by recruiting employees of all ethnic groups".  According to the regulations, September is designated as the month for conducting activities to promote ethnic unity in the region.

Citing Lin Qingzhi, deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the Tibetan legislature, the Tibet.cn website says that the new policies have been designed to "unify the Chinese nation's sense of community".  Tibet.cn also reported the words of an unidentified government official, who said that "Tibet has entered a new era of long-term development with peace and stability.  These regulations must consolidate practices and results in building harmonious ethnic relationships and establish a model for all people and industries in Tibet. "

Despite the good intentions announced by the regime, the Tibetans living abroad speak of "suffocating" Chinese security, of Beijing's exploitation of the resources of the Himalayan region, while the Buddhist language and culture are slowly stifled.  Tenzin Gyatso, XIV Dalai Lama and spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, was forced to leave the Potala Palace (his official residence) during the Tibetan revolt against Chinese military rule in 1959.

Since that date, the religious leader has found refuge in Dharamsala (India).  Although he has tried many times to dialogue with Beijing, to safeguard the autonomy of the Tibetan religion and culture threatened by a "cultural genocide", the Chinese Communist Party has always branded him as a "dangerous separatist" who wants Tibet's independence  .  In the desire to be able to return, in 2011 he renounced his political office to remain only spiritual leader.  But the Chinese Communist Party continues to consider him a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

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