Lhasa [Tibet]: China has been targeting Tibetan Buddhism since Mao's Cultural Revolution and the oppression has continued in Xi Jinping's rule, during which drastic measures have been introduced within Tibet, according to a global think tank.
This continued persecution has curtailed the little space available for religious freedom and is contrary to the Chinese government's claim of religious freedom in Tibet.
According to think tank Global Order, the Chinese Communist Party has employed many methods to eradicate Tibetan Buddhism not only within Tibet but also outside Tibet. "In many locations, Tibetan monasteries have been demolished or restrictions on the number of monks and nuns have been severely increased," the think tank said.
Earlier this month, media reports had said Chinese authorities in Sichuan province were arresting Tibetan monks and beating them over suspicion that they informed outside people about the destruction of the 99-foot tall Buddha statue in the country's Luhuo county (Drago).
The Buddha statue in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Region was demolished in December by officials who said the statue had been built too high, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported citing Tibetan sources.
Local monastery monks and other Tibetan residents were forced to witness the destruction, and action experts called part of an ongoing campaign to eradicate Tibet's distinct national culture and religion, the RFA report said.
Chinese officials so far have arrested 11 monks from Drago's Gaden Namgyal Ling monastery on suspicion of sending news and photos of the statue's destruction to contacts outside the region, RFA reported citing a source.
"As of now, we have learned that Lhamo Yangkyi, Tsering Samdrup and four other Tibetans have been arrested for communicating outside Tibet," RFA quoted the source as saying citing contacts in Drago.
Religious believers in China can not rely on legal or constitutional safeguards of their faith, said Sophie Richardson, China director for New York-based Human Rights Watch after the arrest of monks over-sharing news of statue demolition.
Richardson also said that Beijing in its current phase of "ultranationalist and statist ideology" gives all power to the state, and regards civil society with suspicion and contempt. (ANI)