China opens 24 police stations in monasteries in Labrang
Dharamsala (AsiaNews/Agencies) - In a move to further step up surveillance and control of Tibetan monasteries, China has established more than twenty police stations in monasteries in Labrang in Gansu province this week. An official report called it a part of "recent focus on policing monasteries" in the region that has seen several self immolation protests by Tibetans since 2009.
The International Campaign for Tibet said the move is a part of Chinese government "policies of placing almost every monastery in Tibet under direct government rule and intensifying Party presence in both rural and urban Tibetan areas."
"Following the protests that swept across Tibet in 2008, the Chinese government has adopted a strategy of actively stepping up Party presence as the answer to 'instability.' This has led to a more pervasive and systematic approach to 'patriotic education', the 'management' and securitization of monasteries and a dramatic increase in work teams and Party cadres in rural as well as urban areas of Tibet," the Washington DC based NGO said in a report on its website.
The Chinese government seeks to replace loyalty to the Dalai Lama among Tibetans with allegiance to the Chinese Party-state, and in doing so, to undermine Tibetan national identity at its roots.
Speaking about the policy, Communist Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region Chen Quanguo said that ranks of cadres stationed in monasteries should ensure that monks and nuns "become an important force in loving their country, loving their religion, observing regulations, abiding by laws, safeguarding stability, and building harmony."