A Chinese county has banned Tibetan Monks “wrongly educated” in India from teaching Buddhism, fearing that they may spread “separatist” content, according to a state-run media report.
“Monks wrongly educated in India are banned from teaching Buddhism to residents of Litang county in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province,” state-run Global Times quoted an official as saying on Monday.The county conducts patriotic education classes every year for those educated and awarded Gexe Lharampa—the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhist studies—in India, an official from Litang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau told the paper.
Those who behaved improperly at the patriotic classes or showed “any signs of separatist intent” are strictly monitored and banned from teaching Buddhism to the public, the official said. The move was a standard practice every year “in response to the county’s severe separatist situation,” the official said.China accuses Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and his associates of being separatists.
Over 1.5 lakh Tibetans whose families migrated along with Dalai Lama in 1959 live in India. They have also established schools to teach Tibetan Buddhism. China has its own criteria to award Gexe Lharampa, and candidates have to pass Chinese Buddhist tests and a sutra debate, the paper said.
Those awarded the degree overseas are not acknowledged by China and are not qualified to teach Buddhism in the country, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told the daily. Some 105 monks in Tibet have been awarded the Chinese Buddhist version of the degree since 2004, Xinhua reported.