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Education Improves Lamaseries' Administration

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 01/06/19; June 19, 2001.]

People's Daily (Official News Agency of the People's Republic of China)

Tuesday, June 19, 2001. China's efforts in improving normal religious order in Tibet's lamaseries has won understanding from and support of lamas and laymen alike.

Qamba Puncog, deputy head of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Office for Patriotism Education for Lamaseries, said Tibet has conducted a campaign to enhance patriotism education at lamaseries since 1996, with the purpose of promoting the concept of motherland, the awareness of law and the responsibility of a Chinese citizen, and adapting Tibetan Buddhism to modern society.

There are more than 1,700 temples and lamaseries in Tibet, with over 46,000 lamas and nuns. For some time, problems such as disorder in management with obsolete rules had been prominent in some lamaseries. Some lamas even considered themselves as privileged citizens, showed now respect to state laws, and even do not act according to religious protocol in daily life.

In the meantime, the Dalai splittism clique also has intended to turn lamaseries into places of riots and splittist activities, which has severely damaged normal religious order and hindered economic and social progress in Tibet.

Qamba Puncog said in that campaign, lamas have studied the history of Tibet, the state policies, laws and relevant regulations regarding religions among ethnic minorities, and the knowledge to fight against splittism and safeguard the reunification of the motherland.

Lamas were also organized to inspect universities, enterprises and rural areas to see with their own eyes the great changes in Tibet since 1950s. Major lamaseries also organized lamas to visit Tibet Archives in order to better understand the relation between Tibet and the motherland. "Previously, many lamas lacked understanding of the reality and history of Tibetan society," said Qamba Puncog, "an overwhelming majority of the lamas have now realized that Dalai Lama is not their spokesman, nor their spiritual leader but the head of the clique which always seeks to split up China and hinder construction of a normal order in Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism."

Daingyal, a 73-year-old prominent lama of the Gelug, also called the "Yellow" Sect, which is the most powerful sect of the Tibetan Buddhism, said: "now we do not hang the portrait of Dalai Lama for worship in dormitories of lamas, nor do we recite holy Scriptures to wish him a longevity."

Gaqen, another eminent lama from Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery, said: "we believe that the society has been progressing at a fast speed, so Tibetan Buddhism also needs to be reformed to be adapted to the society."

The administration in temples and lamaseries has now been improved. Democratic management committees and democratic management groups have been set up in lamaseries. Departments in charge of religious and financial affairs have been established under these democratic management committees.

According to Qamba Puncog, patriotic pacts, daily management rules and rules regarding lamas' acts have been worked out to change the former disorder at these religious venues.

With the new administration method, the previous phenomena such as construction of new temples without getting prior permits and self-proclaiming of living Buddha have been stopped, said Qamba Puncog.

In the past years, connections between lamaseries and the society have been improved. Local governments have helped lamaseries to build libraries, health clinics, hospices for the aged and venues for entertainment such as rooms for movie shows, and provided conveniences to lamas who want to learning foreign languages.

For the time being, Tibet has launched a new round of campaign to advance publicity of state laws and regulations in some major lamaseries, so that lamas take the initiatives to be law-abiding citizens and know how to resort to law in order to protect their legitimate rights, Qamba Puncog added

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