07/25/2009, 00.00
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Monks reject Chinese propaganda, monastery leader expelled

In Jaqung monastery Amdo (Qinghai) approximately 400 monks refuse to participate in the patriotic indoctrination session. The propaganda office expels the monk in charge of discipline.

Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - The "patriotic re-education" campaign of monks belonging to Amdo Jaqung monastery in Bayen County (Tsoshar Prefecture in Qinghai) has failed. The reaction of Chinese authorities has been to expel Lobsang Tsultrim, who was in charge of discipline at the monastery.   On June 27 officials from the Office for Religious Affairs of Bayen (Chinese: Hualong) and police arrived at the monastery in Amdo Jaqung for a session of "legal education", as the former "Patriotic Education" is now called, veritable indoctrination sessions to persuade the monks to be faithful to Beijing rather than the Dalai Lama.

Officials ordered Lobsang call all the 400 monks to the indoctrination session. He called them, but nobody came.   So the officials accused Lobsang, head of discipline, of being incapable of educating the monks well, expelled him and forbid him to go to any other monastery.

The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, reporting this latest episode of abuse, says the "patriotic education" campaign was first launched in 1996 to ask monks to denounce the Dalai Lama and to oppose separatist forces. It says that in fact, it is another form of religious persecution and is often used to single out elements opposed to Chinese authorities. The campaign has led to numerous arrests or expulsions of monks and the closure of monasteries. After the protests of March 2008, the campaign was renewed with even greater impetus, particularly in the monasteries, but also for civil servants, security forces, personnel in education and many other categories.
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