05/17/2012, 00.00
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Another "re-education" campaign in Tibet's monasteries

At Beijing's urging, Tibet's government launches another brainwashing campaign against Buddhist monks and nuns in order to stop them from further self-immolation. Such campaigns began in 1996 and are the last Maoist tool of control left.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) - The authorities in Chinese-occupied Tibet have launched a new wave of 'patriotic re-education' and 'legal education' campaigns in Tibetan monasteries in order to maintain stability, enhance unity, and promote harmony in the region.

In the past few months, more than 30 Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. Their demands include the return of the Dalai Lama to his native land, true religious freedom and full cultural autonomy. For his part, Tibet's spiritual leader has called on his followers not to take their own lives. Beijing has blamed him instead for the unrest.

The government of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) now wants to re-impose its control through the monks' indoctrination. TAR Governor Pema Thinley Pema Thinley said that the education campaigns were launched in all the monasteries and nunneries in TAR after receiving instructions from the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to teach the monks and nuns to love the Chinese motherland.

'Patriotic re-education campaigns' were first introduced in 1996. They are Beijing's preferred means to assert control over monasteries and lamaseries.

Refusal to participate in long sessions of "political and religious studies" on Maoist "truths" has resulted in arrests and expulsion.

Since protests broke out in Lhasa in 2008, in which more than 200 people died, campaigns of this kind have become commonplace.

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