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China Stops Tibetan Monks from Returning to Monasteries

Young Tibetan Monks

China exerts its power over Tibet, restricting young Tibetan monks from returning to their monasteries after their family visit.

Young Tibetan monks in the Qinghai Province are being blocked by Chinese authorities from returning to their monasteries following New Year visits with their families.  China has been forcing monks under 19 years of age to be disrobed and returned to their local schools.  Tibetan parents have been instructed at meetings to keep the young Tibetan monks from returning to the monasteries where they had previously been studying.  The directive from China seems to target young monks from more nomadic and rural areas and seems to be focused on reducing the influence of Tibetan monasteries by controlling their size.  These monasteries are typically perceived as gathering points for opposition to the rule of China in Tibet.

The Chinese authorities cracked down on the Tibetan monks following the Tibetan New Year, which began on February 19.  The action has been seen as an attack on the most basic religious freedom of Tibetans.  Chinese authorities are blocking the return of the monks and insisting that they begin studying in local schools once the holiday ends.  These actions echo those of last year, when authorities in a Tibet Autonomous Region county ordered that monks who were less than twelve years old must be ousted from their monasteries and then returned to their family homes.

Reports from Radio Free Asia (a private, not-for-profit broadcaster providing news to Asians lacking free access to information) have also stated that underage Tibetan monks are being forced into attending government schools and note the Tibetan language is no longer taught in schools.  Outside classes aiming to teach the language to graduated students have also been banned.  Tibetan citizens are becoming more vocal about their distrust of China and continue to call for a full withdrawal of China from Tibet.


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