Top Chinese Official Calls for Reforms in Tibetan Monasteries

A senior official of the Communist Party of China has called for undertaking reforms in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries by appointing monks and nuns who are "politically reliable".

Du Qinglin, head of the United Front Work Department of the Party's Central Committee and vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, demanded a greater “concerted and solid efforts to implement democratic management in the monasteries,” according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

During a two-day conference on democratic management of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries at Xigaze in Tibet Autonomous Region, Du, made the remarks of undertaking changes in the powerful clergy in Tibet in what appeared to be China's efforts to strengthen government's hold on Tibet's influential religious institutions in the politically sensitive region.

Since the March 2008 outbreak of widespread unrest in Tibetan regions, the Chinese government has reinforced "patriotic re-education" campaign for monasteries, requiring monks and nuns to denounce their revered leader the Dalai Lama and to take hours of classes on the law and communist thoughts and requiring them. Noncompliant monks and nuns have faced explusion from their monasteries and some have fled their monasteries to avoid complying.

As per the prevailing rules, the posts of all the top monks have to be made with the approval of the Chinese government.

Some information for this report was provided by PTI, ICT and Xinhua