fredag 28. juni 2024

China restricts religious debate event for Tibetan monks

Chinese government authorities in a a Tibetan-populated county in Sichuan province have shortened the duration of a key weeklong debate on Buddhist philosophy and reduced the number of monks who could attend the event, Tibetans with knowledge of the situation said.

The annual Dhokham Jang Gunchoe, or Great Winter Debate Session, is a longstanding tradition of Tibet’s three monastic universities — Drepung, Gaden and Sera — and traditionally occurs in the eleventh month of the Tibetan calendar. It draws thousands of monks fromother Buddhist monasteries and colleges. The event began on June 19 at Za Bhum Nyingma Monastery under tight restrictions in Sershul county in Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the province’s northwest.

Authorities shortened the two-week event, which enjoys popularity across Tibetan-populated regions, to one week and cut the number of monastic attendees to 3,200 from about 7,000, said one Tibetan source, who like others in the report declined to be named.