Chinese communists demand Tibetan monastary reforms


FROM "DAILY NEWS AND ANALYSIS". BEIJING - A fresh purge appeared to be in the offing in Tibet with a top leader of the Communist Party of China calling for reforms in Buddhist monasteries by appointing monks and nuns who are "politically reliable".

In a move that could be aimed at weeding out pro-Dalai Lama elements in the clergy, Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department of the Party's Central Committee, also demanded that "greater, concerted and solid efforts" must be made to implement democratic management in the monasteries.

"Concerted and solid efforts must be made to implement democratic management in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries," Du was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency, in what appeared to be a fresh effort to strengthen government's hold on Tibet's influential religious centres in the politically sensitive Himalayan province.

"Competent Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns who are politically reliable, extraordinarily learned and widely respected should be selected to monastery management committees through thorough democratic consultation," he said.

As per the prevailing rules, the posts of all the top monks known as Lamas have to be made with the approval of the Chinese government.

Du, also vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks of sweeping changes in the powerful clergy in Tibet during a two-day conference on democratic management of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries at Xigaze in Tibet Autonomous Region, which began yesterday.


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