China threatening to turn Tibetan Buddhist community into govt's tool: Report
Washington [US]: New measures of surveillance and control imposed by the Chinese Communist Party are threatening to turn the Tibetan Buddhist monastic community into a tool of the Xi Jinping-led government, according to a rights group.
The International Campaign for Tibet said: "After more than 60 years of China's brutal, authoritarian rule in Tibet, our new report shows that Tibetan Buddhism is facing some of the gravest threats yet to its survival."
It added, "We hope that 'Party Above Buddhism' shines a light on China's new efforts to bend this beautiful faith to the twisted purposes of the Chinese Communist Party. We also urge the international community once again to speak up for the religious freedom of the Tibetan people."
A new report by the International Campaign for Tibet released on Wednesday documents policy and institutional changes that force monks and nuns to serve the interests of the Communist Party.
"For decades, Tibetan monks and nuns have borne the brunt of the Chinese Communist Party's targeted security and religious policies. Implementation of pervasive securitization policies has led the monastic community to persistently resist the authorities, who in turn have led even harder repression in the name of maintaining 'stability and public order'," the report read.
"Under current Chinese President Xi Jinping, the repression of the monastic community has escalated even further. With the dramatic securitization of Tibet during the reign of Chen Quanguo, party secretary of the TAR from 2011-16, the current focus is on ideological control and transformation to support the Chinese state," the report added.
Xi's drive to "Sinicize" (meaning to bring under state control) all religions in China "in order to contribute to the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation" is not an "empty threat", it pointed out.
The sinicization of religions as an official policy was first initiated during a Central United Front Work conference in mid-2015, reaffirmed during the National Religious Work Conference in April 2016 and finally publicly declared at the 19th Party Congress in 2017.
The report stated that to achieve the goal, Xi Jinping made structural changes in the party-state system by putting the United Front Work Department (UFWD) in charge of overseeing the implementation of religious policy. Placing a mass organ of the CCP above the state administration has been a regular occurrence recently in several policy fields, especially in discipline inspection.
"The report argues that these developments represent a further, even more, imminent threat to the survival of authentic and self-determined Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan culture," the summary of the report read.
Tibet has been ranked as the second least free region in the world, according to the latest report "Freedom in the World 2021: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy," based on a study of political freedom around the world.
The Tibetan Uprising Day, observed annually, commemorates the 1959 Tibetan peaceful uprising against Communist China's repression in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Tibetans and their supporters remember to pay tribute to all those who have sacrificed their lives for Tibet's struggle.
Tibet is ruled by the Chinese Communist Party government based in Beijing, with local decision-making power concentrated in the hands of Chinese party officials.
Tibet was a sovereign state before China's invasion in 1950 when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered northern Tibet. (ANI)