Sichuan county bans some India-educated monks from teaching Buddhism to avoid separatism

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/14 22:38:40 Last Updated: 2018/5/15 0:47:54

Monks wrongly educated in India are banned from teaching Buddhism to residents of Litang county in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, an official said Monday.

The county stages patriotic education classes every year for those educated and awarded Gexe Lharampa - the highest academic degree in Tibetan Buddhist studies - in India, an official from Litang's ethnic and religious affairs bureau told the Global Times.

Those who behaved improperly at the patriotic classes or showed "any signs of separatist intent" are strictly monitored and banned from teaching Buddhism to the public, said the official who refused to be named.

China has its own criteria to award Gexe Lharampa, and candidates have to pass Chinese Buddhist tests and a sutra debate.

Those awarded the degree overseas are not acknowledged by China and are not qualified to teach Buddhism in the country, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told the Global Times.

Some 105 monks in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region have been awarded the Chinese Buddhist version of the degree since 2004, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

As some monks received education overseas from the 14th Dalai Lama clique - whom China regards as separatists - it is necessary to tighten supervision so as to avoid the clique using local Buddhists to conduct separatist activities, Zhu said. 

The official did not say how many monks are banned.

The move was a standard practice every year, said the official, in response to the county's severe separatist situation.

Litang county is home to prominent Buddhists including the Seventh and 10th Dalai Lama. Litang Temple has about 800 monks and can accommodate more than 4,300, news site reported. 

Newspaper headline: Monks miseducated in India barred from teaching Buddhism

Posted in: SOCIETY

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