Tibet Insight No.27/15



“Countryside Campaign” in Nagchu Prefecture

May 20, 2015

The Regional Party Committee of Nagchu (Ch:Nagqu) launched an “ Intensive Countryside Campaign” on May 18, 2015, in Nyima County of Nagchu with the support of the Regional United Front and Propaganda Department. Nagchu Party Committee authorities announced that the aim of the campaign is to construct and promote socialist countryside, cultivate and practice the “core values” of socialism, instil patriotism and lay a common moral and ideological foundation for the masses. As part of the campaign, the authorities first stopped at monasteries and met monks and nuns in Dronyin Township of Nagchu when they “explained” the laws, rules and regulations of the CCP. They later met the villagers and distributed 2,000 copies of promotional materials, 300 brochures, 10,000 Yuan worth medicines and 2,500 Yuan worth of veterinary medicines.

Tibetan mother of two sets fire to herself outside government building

May 28, 2015

Tibetan sources claim that Sangye Tso set fire to herself on May 27 in a township in Chone (Chinese: Zhuoni) county, Kanlho (Chinese: Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture) in Gansu Province. She self-immolated outside a government building near the monastery of Tashi Choekhorling in Dorkok township. A Tibetan exile source said the building housed Party and government offices, including the local police station and were seen by local residents as symbols of injustice against Tibetans and the main offices that enforced the crackdown against protests in 2008. 

The self-immolation, coincided with the important and holy Buddhist month of Saga Dawa during which the anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death occur, and followed teachings by the head lama of the monastery in the township. Sangye Tso died after self-immolation and her body was taken away by police. These sources said that armed police also raided the homes of her family and detained some of her relatives.

Stability Maintenance Meeting in Lhoka ahead of Religious Festival

May 29, 2015

The Stability Maintenance Headquarters of Lhoka (Ch: Shannan) on May 28, held a special meeting to discuss special security maintenance work for their staff during Saga Dawa, the month long Buddhist religious festival.

The Secretary of Lhoka Politics and Law Committee and Party Secretary of Public Security Department Jigme presided over the meeting and delivered a speech. Members of the Lhoka Prefectural Party Committee and United Front Work Department (UFWD) attended the meeting.

In his speech, Jigme stressed that Saga Dawa is an important and long festival observed religiously by all Buddhists and involves large scale activities. He said that maintenance of stability and security is important and would be arduous. He urged the authorities of all the counties and departments to further strengthen political awareness, unity of thinking, responsibilities and work effectively to ensure complete harmony and stability in Lhoka.

He also asked the respective organizations and authorities to strengthen security management, military and police forces in sensitive areas to counter possible and sudden “terrorists and separatist riots.” He asked the authorities and members to ensure absolute safety.

The meeting also heard civil cases related to the county and regional office, district Police Department, Public Security Frontier Detachment, Police Fire Brigade, listened to Lhoka Military work reports, discussed the CCP CC’s sixth Working Conference on Tibet, and the Stability and Security Maintenance arrangements to be implemented in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TAR. 

Sun Chunlan’s inspection tour to News Centres

 May 29, 2015

Sun Chunlan, member of the CCP CC Political Bureau and Minister of the CCP CC’s United Front Work Department (UFWD) inspected the China Tibet News station on May 28 and had a discussion with the website leaders.

Sun Chunlan alongwith some members arrived at the news station, visited its Technical Center and watched multimedia demonstrations before visiting the editorial departments. While listening to the briefings, she enquired about work on news reporting. Sun Chunlan met editors and journalists of the Chinese, English, German, French, Tibetan, Photography, and Video News Desks. 

Sun Chunlan emphasized that the recent Central United Front Work Conference was an extremely important meeting. She said that “General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech is a milestone of great significance in the history of the united front work, which has provided fundamental guidelines to abide by the tenets of the conference under the new situation.” She called on the website to give in-depth reporting of the conference and enhance publicity by fully using its advantages of multiple languages and multimedia so as to help the whole society better understand united front work. 

Chen Xiqing and Sithar, Vice Ministers of the CCP CC United Front Work Department accompanied by Sun Chunlan.

Training of troops in Nagchu for road construction security 

April 30, 2015

The Party Committee of Nagchu (Ch:Nagqu) Prefecture said that troops in Nagchu will begin training for 15 days from April 20 to safeguard railways, implement security on road for the construction of railways, raise the standard of their professional skills of road protection and political awareness, further improve combat capability in emergency and provide services to the Nagchu County sector of the Qinghai Railways.

In order to make this training effective, Gonghui Cai, Deputy Secretary of Nagchu Party Committee and Secretary to the Politics and Law Committee , and the Director of the Municipal Road Protection Office, Deputy Secretary and County Magistrate of the Nagqu County, and Political Commissar of the Nagchu County PAPF, were present at the inauguration to mobilise the troops.

Psychological Counselling quake hit areas in Tibet

May 07, 2015 

The Kyirong Frontier Inspection Station of the Tibet Public Security Frontier Corps organized officers and soldiers to carry out the rescue works in earthquake affected areas and also arranged for their psychological counselling within the resettlement area. More than 130 people from quake-hit area had received psychological counselling till April 27, 2015,

Caterpillar fungus digging begins in Tibet’s Nagchu

May 28, 2015

Caterpillar fungus digging work for 2015 has begun in Nagchu Prefecture with the Nagchu Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Bureau saying the output will compare with that of last year. Caterpillar funguses are becoming the main cash income source of local farmers and herdsmen, because of their popularity and high market price.

Ren Chuncheng, Deputy Researcher of Nagchu Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Bureau, said that counties at a relatively low altitude like Lhari of Nagchu, began caterpillar fungus digging since the beginning of May with other major fungus producing counties like Driru and Sog also commencing digging the same month. The estimated output of caterpillar fungus this year will easily exceed 25,000 kg.

CCP CC’s Organization Department allocates 5 million Yuan party membership dues to quake-hit Tibetan areas

May 12, 2015

The CCP Central Committee, State Council and Central Organization Department decided to allocate 5 million Yuan RMB for party membership dues on May 2. The dues will be used to reconstruct the activity places, repair modern distance education facilities and subsidize adversely affected party members.

 Party organizations at all levels were asked to give full play to their role as the core leadership and fighting bastion and Party members were urged to play vanguard and exemplary roles. They were asked to enhance awareness and change work style, by going to the seriously quake-hit areas to meet the masses' needs. Party organizations were asked to examine the cadres’ contributions during this period of quake relief and post quake reconstruction. It said that the advanced models will be publicized and commended.


Xi Jinping urges lawful management of religious affairs

May 22, 2015

At an important three-day Conference of the CCP CC’s United Front Work held from May 18 to 20 in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that the ‘legalisation’ of religion work should be promoted. He asked authorities to value the influence of persons in the religious sphere and guide them to better serve the nation's development, harmony and unification. “Active efforts should be made to incorporate religions in socialist society," Xi Jinping said, adding that religions in China must be Chinese and that development of religions in China should be independent from foreign influence.

Promising to fully implement the Party's policy of religious freedom and manage religious affairs in line with the law, Xi Jinping also called for a balanced attitude toward religion that took into account the pros and cons.

China rewards no-protest Tibetan monasteries, subjects others to “patriotism education”

May 31, 2015

According to Radio Free Asia, Chinese authorities in Sershul (Chinese: Shiqu) County of Karze (Ganzi) Prefecture, Sichuan Province, are implementing a carrot-and-stick policy for maintaining stability. They presented cash rewards to monasteries in the Dzachuka area where there had been no protests, while punishing others with up to four days of “education in patriotism.” The cash distributions and patriotism education orders were issued during a visit by officials to the monasteries in the area. 

It is not clear how many of the more than 30 monasteries in the Dzchukha area had received the cash payments, which are said to be in the range of 30,000-50,000 Yuan per monastery. The report cited a local source as saying that many monks of monasteries, such as Wonpo, Mangge, Tekar, and Chaktsa, had been involved in protests and many continue to be in jail.

The source said the Tibetan community had strongly objected to monasteries that received the cash awards but refused to name them.

Chinese appointed Panchen Lama and his parents donate 300,000 Yuan to quake-hit areas

May 15, 2015

United Front Work Department (UFWD) of Shigatse Municipal Committee said that “Panchen Lama” Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu (Tib-Gyaltsen Norbu), and his parents were very concerned about the recent earthquake and the living conditions of the affected people in the disaster areas. It said the Panchen Lama and his parents donated 200,000 Yuan(32,300 US dollars)and 100,000 yuan(16,100 US dollars) respectively in their own names, as aid to the quake-affected areas. 

Sonam Drakpa, father of the Panchen Lama said, "The Panchen Lama often advises us to care about the lives of others, care for all people, perform good deeds, and do beneficial things for the people. Therefore,it is our obligation to support the affected by the earthquake and to offer them our love and dedication."

China invests in Tibetan Buddhist schools to produce next generation of religious leaders

May 25, 2015

A graduation ceremony was held at the government-run High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China (HTBCC) on May 20 in Beijing to award 11 Buddhist monks the academic rank of “Tho Ram Pa”, equivalent to a doctoral degree. 28 monks were awarded with Chi Ram Pa, equivalent to a Master's degree. Dozens of monks were awarded advanced and intermediate academic degrees. 

Sun Chunlan, Director of the CCP CC’s United Front Work Department, received the Tibetan Buddhists attending the advanced academic degree, "Tho Ram Pa", awards ceremony of the High-level Tibetan Buddhism College of China in Beijing. Sun Chunlan said that establishing a Tibetan Buddhist advanced academic degree system is an important measure in fostering Tibetan Buddhist religious believers to love their country and religion, as well as adapting religion to socialist society. She hoped that religious people would observe and uphold the law, protect the country and its people, promote economic development and social and religious harmony.

Sun Chunlan said that at the recent United Front Work meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping confirmed the positive influence that religious people and believers have on social and economic development, and urged that active efforts should be made to incorporate religions in socialist society and that religions in China must be Chinese.

(Comment: Several government-funded Tibetan Buddhism colleges are reportedly under construction in areas with significant ethnic Tibetan populations. The government aims to attract more monks to study in colleges, so as to cultivate ‘qualified’ Tibetan Buddhists who are highly educated and politically reliable.

The HTBCC, established in 1987, is located in a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) temple that Emperor Shunzhi built in 1652 for the Fifth Dalai Lama. The college established the academic ranking system in 2004 and started enrolling students for its three-year Tho Ram Pa program and two-year Chi Ram Pa program.)


Shigatse Housing Projects

May 11, 2015

The Shigatse (Ch: Xigaze) authorities plan to build over 7272 “affordable” housing units in Shigatse with a total construction area of 363,600 square meters at a cost of approx. 1,151,785,000 Yuan. By May 8, 2015, 15 counties and districts in Shigatse had approved the project, the budget, land use and site selection etc. Other counties and districts are expected to release tenders and pre construction information by June 1. 

Tibet Airlines Launches New Route from Lhasa to Changsha via Kunming

May 25, 2015

The Tibet Airlines on May 25 launched a new air route from Lhasa Gonggar Airport to Changsha, capital of Hunan Province via Kunming, Yunnan Province. The Lhasa-Kunming-Changsha air route operates daily throughout the week.

TAR Vice Chairman meets Agricultural Bank of China Delegates

May 23, 2015

Ding Yexian, Chairman of TAR Party Committee along with TAR Party Committee Deputy Secretary Yuan Changqing met Agricultural Bank of China’s Shigatse Research Group and held a symposium on May 15. 

The Vice Chairman described the economic and social development of Shigatse in detail and described the current relief works in the earthquake affected areas of Nyalam, Tingri and Kyirong County. He thanked the Agricultural Bank of China. 

One billion Yuan investment to construct small towns in TAR

May 29, 2015

The CCP plans to invest one billion Yuan this year in the construction of 20 pilot sites of Tibetan-style small towns between 2015 and 2017 to promote urbanization in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Preparatory phase for the construction work will start in 2015, with 2016 marking the full implementation phase and the Year 2017 being the acceptance phase. In a bid to combine local development practices, the first provincial-level pilot sites of the Tibetan-style small towns will be chosen from those along the transport routes, rivers and borders with stable economic and social foundations as well as industrial advantages.

An official of Tibet's Housing and Construction Office said that 20 pilot sites of small town will be built based on the principal of "people oriented with a focus on ecology and harmonious development" to create suitable conditions for living, working and travelling.

The small town pilot sites will include roads, electricity, communications, water drainage, and wastewater treatment and accelerate integration of the urban public transport system, the establishment of medical care, employment, education, old age pension, social security, social welfare and other public service facilities.

Of these 20 small towns, there will be three small town pilot sites in Lhasa and four in Shigatse, including Kyirong Town, which was recently affected by the earthquake. There will also be three sites in Lhoka, three in Nyingtri, three at Chamdo, two in Nagchu and two in Ngari Prefecture respectively.

SHIGATSE-Leadership Appointments and Dismissals

The Shigatse Municipal Party Committee increased its membership from 13 to 16 and the number of members in the Shigatse Municipal Congress increased from three earlier to nine now including the Chairman. The Shigatse Municipal PPCC dropped two members and now has 10 members.




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