Tibet govt-in exile slams Chinese president Xi Jinping’s call to ‘sinicize’ Tibetan Buddhism
Tibet’s India-based exile government has slammed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call to “sinicize” the Tibetan people’s Buddhist religion.
The Tibetan government has described the move as an attempt by China’s ruling Communist Party to destroy Tibet’s unique national identity.
“Tibetan Buddhism should be guided in adapting to [China’s] socialist society and should be developed in the Chinese context,” President Xi said on Aug. 29 at the 7th Central Symposium on Tibet held in Beijing as quoted by Radio Free Asia.
Tibetan leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay criticised Xi as he was quoted as saying by Central Tibetan Administration website: “China’s policy of Sinicizing Tibetan Buddhism is a misguided attempt at controlling the Tibetan people’s religious belief and the reincarnation system. China must draw on its past experiences and allow the Tibetan people to maintain its distinct faith and religious traditions.”
“For Tibetans, Buddhism is more important than Communism. To force them to treat communism as more important than their faith is not only a violation of international religious freedom, but is also deeply misguided. Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism is never going to work. The last 60 years of Chinese rule in Tibet is a testament to that fact,” he added.
Responding to Xi Jinping’s claim of building ‘an impregnable fortress’ in Tibet, Dr Sangay explained that “to foster stability in Tibet, China must first address the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people and not forget the 154 Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese policies in Tibet.”
“The root cause of instability in Tibet is not the Tibetan people’s faith, but the repressive and failed policies of the Chinese government. The continuation of these hard-line policies and repression is only going to make matters worse. That’s why Genuine Autonomy based on the Middle Way Approach is the only viable solution.”
“As envisioned by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetans seek Genuine Autonomy within the framework of the Chinese constitution. Resumption of dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama or his envoys remains the only foreseeable solution to resolve the Tibet issue,” he said.