A lama student reads sutra doctrines on an Ipad in class in the Tibet College of Buddhism in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibetan Autonomous Region, Nov. 7, 2011. The first group of 150 Lama students started school in the Tibet College of Buddhism, a newly-rebuilt comprehensive Tibetan-Buddhism college in Tibet. Within two to four years of study, these young Tibetan students will have religious courses of Buddhism, cultural courses and legal courses. Photo: Xinhua
Tibetan officials pledged to consolidate the social welfare of the monks in Tibet and to promote the legalization and normalization of monastery management, as a move to boost national unity along with regional development and stability, according to Chen Quanguo, the Committee Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), at the eighth Party congress of the TAR on Saturday.
"The establishment of harmonious model temples is encouraged in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and patriotic law-abiding monks will be praised," Chen said.
"The government will take great pains to ensure that public services such as electricity, water, telecommunications, radio, and TV stations are provided to the local monasteries," Chen said, adding that the living difficulties of the monks is to be earnestly resolved.
Pension, medical insurance, and the minimum living allowances will be covered at every Tibetan temple by the end of next year, according to Gong Ga.
"The management style of treating monks as common Tibetan civilians and including their social welfare security into the government system will further help preserve religious harmony and regional stability in Tibet," Tsering Gyalpo, a Tibetan Buddhism researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.
According to authorities, a series of regulation measures designed to improve the management of the Tibetan temples, while providing different types of law education for the monks have already been implemented since a deadly riot in Lhasa on March 14, 2008 claimed the lives of at least 18 civilians and one policeman.
Furthermore, a managing committee will be established in Tibetan monasteries which have more than 20 monks, while one or two special agents will be dispatched by the local government to those temples with less than 20, Gong Ga, deputy standing director of the United Front Work Department of the TAR's CPC Committee, told the Global Times on Sunday.
An elaborate regulation on the Management Measures of the Tibetan Buddhist Monasteries, which was released by the State Administration for Religious Affairs and took effect November 1, last year, included a number of administrative norms designed to better regulate Buddhist activities, property, and the management of their cultural relics, among other things, said Gong Ga.
"Monks in the Tibetan monasteries have been studying various types of law at least once a week in their temple since 2008," the deputy standing director said, adding that government measures, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, and the nation’s Criminal Law are among the chosen legal courses.