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Tibet: News Tibet Gaden Ngachoe observed across Tibet despite heavy restriction

Gaden Ngachoe observed across Tibet despite heavy restriction

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Tibet-Gaden-Ngachoe-2017Dharamshala — Despite severe restrictions and presence of heavy Chinese military forces, Buddhist monasteries across Tibet observed the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa's passing away in 1419. The religious festival, a key event in the Tibetan religious calendar, again this year drawn crowds in large numbers under the watchful eye of Chinese police and security forces.

Chinese officials in Tibet have imposed heavy security and severe restrictions on mobility during the anniversary. "There is a heavy presence of armed security and military forces all over Tibet," TPI's source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the Tibetan Lunar calendar, the 25th day of the Tenth month is the anniversary of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism. This significant day in the Buddhist calendar is known as Gaden Ngachoe or Festival of Lights, which is traditionally celebrated all over Tibet, Mongol, and by followers of Tibetan Buddhist traditions in India.

In 2007, the Chinese government banned government workers, Communist Party cadres and students in Tibet from observing the festival, citing the need to keep a tighter grip on education and guidance. Chinese authorities in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, placed a notice in the official Evening News on December 12, 2007, saying the ban covered "all organs of the party and government of Lhasa city, business and enterprise work units and people's collectives".

TPI has previously reported that Chinese authorities in Tibet have shut down preparations for a major prayer gathering at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy which had been held 21 times in the past, further tightening government control over the Buddhist institution. Initially, the local officials granted permission to hold the annual prayer festival, which was set to begin on November 6, 2017. But on October 29, 2017 they revoked that decision and made a notice claiming the festival would be banned for unknown reasons.

Recent reports from Tibet also reveal that Chinese communist authorities have entered Tibetan monasteries in Tibet (Ch: Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Qinghai, and Sichuan), forcing monks, nuns, and laypeople to undergo patriotic reeducation campaign based on the principles of Communist China's 19th Congress Party. Sources said that 'China's "strike-hard" campaign has been fully restored in Tibet and its now fully in force'.

The danger of the language of Tibet disappearing completely is not merely speculative. The Tibetan language is on the verge of being wiped out because of a Chinese policy ensuring Putonghua, simply Mandarin is dominant in the TAR, particularly in eastern Tibet. In 2014, over the past century alone, about 400 languages—one every three months—have gone extinct, and most linguists estimate that 50 percent of the world's remaining 6,500 languages will be gone by the end of this century. In the recent years, Tibetans are under a heavy pressure to prove that by writing and speaking good Tibetan—to preserve and promote Tibetan language and culture under heavy and severe restriction imposed by China.

The gathering, called Ganden Ngachoe, a key event in the Tibetan religious calendar that marks the death of the 14th-century Buddhist teacher Tsongkhapa, who was a founder of the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. and is traditionally celebrated with displays of lamps and offerings presented to the community of monks.

Large numbers of devotees had gathered at monasteries across Tibet, including Tibetan capital Lhasa and counties like Rebkong, Labrang, Karze, Ngaba, Nyakchukha and Lithang to make offerings and prostrate themselves in devotion in a circuit around the temples, tightly packed lines to offer lamps and ceremonial scarves," a Tibetan living in exile told TPI.

"Chinese armed police deployed at the major monasteries and temples again this year, kept a watch on the gathering, but showed no sign of threatening behavior or of cracking down and public assemblies at major monasteries in Tibet have greatly increased in size in recent years, reports say, as crowds gathered in their tens-of-thousands to assert their national and cultural identity in the face of Chinese domination.

The Chinese Communist regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949 with total occupation of the country occurring in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 December 2017 15:26 )  


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