05/27/2020, 12.26
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Beijing bans Tibetan students and officials from Buddha celebrations

The ban applies to Saga Dawa, which started last Saturday. Offenders face serious consequences. Police tighten their controls. Beijing wants to limit the influence of Buddhism on young people. Attacks against Tibetan culture include the abduction of the Panchen Lama.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Tibetan Autonomous Region has issued an order banning students, civil servants (active and retired), and members of the Chinese Communist Party from participating in religious events in Lhasa during the Buddhist festival of Saga Dawa, Radio Free Asia (RFA) has reported.

The festival, which began last Saturday, marks the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.

According to local sources, the authorities have summoned people to inform them of the ban. In Lhasa, police tightened controls in Lhasa, and offenders can expect "serious consequences".

Schools in the Tibetan capital area have reopened after the coronavirus lockdown was lifted. So have Buddhist temples.

For some time, the Chinese government has been trying to limit the influence of the Buddhist religion on young Tibetans.

The International Campaign for Tibet notes that Tibet’s Chinese administration banned Lhasa students from taking part in religious activities during the Lunar New Year holidays in January.

Buddhism is a distinctive element of Tibetan culture and national identity; for this reason, it is seen by the Communist Party as a threat to the unity of the Chinese state.

Attacks against traditional Tibetan lifestyle include the abduction of the Panchen Lama, the second most senior cleric in Tibetan Buddhism, who has been held in an unknown place for more than 25 years by order of China’s communist leaders.

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