Another Reason for Boycotting the Communist Olympics
Beijing, China — Chinese authorities in Tibet have recruited more than 140 Tibetan youths to perform traditional dances at the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, even as they impose new curbs on Buddhist culture in the Himalayan region, sources there say.
“The Chinese authorities believe that monasteries are the chief centers of Tibetan culture responsible for maintaining Tibetan identity. Therefore they are cracking down on the monasteries,” a source in Tibet said in a recent interview.
Novice monks are no longer admitted to replace monks who have died, and monks rarely appear on the streets in many Tibetan cities, sources say, and this trend has become more visible and pronounced over recent months.
“Now the monks are not allowed to conduct prayer sessions in temples, nor allowed to invite monks for special prayers at home,” the Tibetan source told Kham dialect reporter Tsewang Norbu. “Construction of new stupas is banned. Tibetan devotees are not even allowed to circumambulate temples and stupas.”
Sources say the restrictions have been stepped up since the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, was awarded the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal last year.
“We were told that we could not dress well, burn incense, conduct prayers, or recite mantras,” the first source said. “We were also told that monks should not be allowed to stay in our houses… save [animals] and so on.
Even Tibetan government officials are not allowed to wear Tibetan dress, nor to maintain a prayer room and altar in their house.”