Chinese language authorities in Tibet have imposed restrictions on non secular practices and shuttered temples within the metropolis of Lhasa forward the Tibetan New Yr, citing coronavirus issues, sources in Tibet advised RFA.
The Lunar New Yr, referred to as Losar in Tibetan, falls on February 12 this yr. In most years, the primary three days of the New Yr are full of festivals and non secular ceremonies, and most Tibetan Buddhists in Lhasa go to temples through the vacation.
“There are lots of non secular actions that we carry out previous to and through the Tibetan New Yr, however these have all been denied by the Chinese language authorities,” Ngawang Woebar, a former political prisoner who now lives in exile advised RFA’s Tibetan Service, citing sources in Tibet.
“They’ve closed Potala Palace, Tsuglakhang Temple, Deprung Monastery and Sera Monastery… These restrictions and random searches have unfold to different areas within the japanese elements of Tibet too,” he stated.
Ngawang Woebar stated that though the Chinese language authorities stated the restrictions had been on account of COVID-19, he believes there’s a political agenda to forestall Tibetans from assembly one another.
“Lately it has been harder for these of us in exile to speak with our households inside Tibet. We’re receiving a lot much less response from them as nicely,” he stated.
A Tibetan who took a current journey to China advised RFA that sure members of Tibetan society have extra restrictions than others.
“Losar is meant to be a joyous event, however we’re all the time anxious. Authorities officers, college students and retired officers will not be allowed to participate in any non secular occasions. If they’re summoned to their workplace, they have to report inside 24 hours,” stated the traveler, who requested anonymity for safety causes.
Temples in Lhasa are closing down forward of the vacation, in line with sources inside Tibet.
“Normally, we go to Tsuglakhang Temple on the primary day of Losar to have a good time and carry out our non secular actions for the New Yr, however this yr there are notices that the temples will stay closed, so we now have no selection,” a Tibetan resident who declined to be named for security causes advised RFA.
A Han Chinese language resident who runs a restaurant in Lhasa advised RFA, “All of the monasteries and temples in Lhasa will stay closed throughout Losar.”
Lhasa’s Potala Palace will stay open throughout Losar, however visiting hours are restricted from 9:30 a.m. to midday, with visitors required to amass a customer’s go the day earlier than the go to, the palace’s administration committee stated. Guests should put on masks and undergo temperature checks.
In the meantime a discover circulated by the administration of Tsuglakhang Temple stated the temple can be closed on the primary two days previous Losar for cleansing, and the primary six days of the New Yr to look at the vacation. It’ll reopen to the general public on Feb. 19.
A previously impartial nation, Tibet was invaded and integrated into China by pressure practically 70 years in the past, and the Dalai Lama and hundreds of his followers fled into exile in India and different nations around the globe following a failed 1959 nationwide rebellion towards Chinese language rule.
Chinese language authorities preserve a decent grip on the area, limiting Tibetans’ political actions and peaceable expression of cultural and non secular id, and subjecting Tibetans to persecution, torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Eugene Whong.