Tibetans Ordered Home by China Are Questioned by Police, Lose Their Passports

2017-01-23
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The Dalai Lama gives teachings ahead of the Kalachakra Empowerment, Bodh Gaya, India, Jan. 7, 2017.
The Dalai Lama gives teachings ahead of the Kalachakra Empowerment, Bodh Gaya, India, Jan. 7, 2017.
RFA

Tibetans ordered home to China ahead of a large Buddhist gathering led this month in India by the Dalai Lama have been stripped of their passports and questioned by police, with authorities especially wanting to know what they discussed with others following their return, Tibetan sources say.

“Many Tibetans who had traveled to India and Nepal on pilgrimage were forced to return home before they could receive the Kalachakra teachings from [exiled spiritual leader] the Dalai Lama,” a source in a Tibetan-populated region of China told RFA.

“When they came back, many had their passports taken away from them,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Most of the passports held by Tibetans who had traveled from Qinghai province had already been made invalid,” the source added.

Tibetans who had traveled to India from Qinghai province’s Tsoshar (in Chinese, Haidong) prefecture were called in to government offices and questioned about their trip, with officials wanting to know which pilgrimage sites they had visited, what items they had brought back with them, and whom they had spoken with after they returned, he said.

“No one was beaten or tortured, though,” he said.

Families threatened

Kalachakra, which means Wheel of Time, is a ritual that prepares devotees to be reborn in Shambhala, a celestial kingdom which, it is said, will vanquish the forces of evil in a future cosmic battle.

The ceremony and teachings are often conducted outside Tibet by the Dalai Lama, who is widely reviled by Chinese leaders as a “splittist” seeking to separate Tibet, which was invaded by Communist China in 1950, from Beijing’s control.

In a bid to reduce attendance at this year’s ceremony, Chinese officials moved beginning in November to confiscate the passports of Tibetans authorized to travel abroad, at the same time ordering Tibetans already present in India and Nepal to return home.

Many had been told their families would be harmed if they failed to go back, sources told RFA in earlier reports.

Each Tibetan returning to Tsoshar was given 500 yuan (U.S. $72.94) by authorities as a gesture of thanks for their cooperation, with a promise of a further 2,000 yuan (U.S. $291.76) to be handed over later, RFA’s source said, adding that returnees were also promised that their confiscated passports would be replaced.

“It is difficult to believe that they will do what they have promised, though,” he said.

Reported by Kunsang Tenzin for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

Comments (3)
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Wangchuk

from NY

Thank you from the Party to Duo Hua for his comment. 50 yuan check is in the mail. Apparently persecuting Tibetans who attend Kalachakra in India is ok with Duo Hua. Freedom of religion & freedom of movement is not that important to CCP cadres like him.

Jan 26, 2017 10:50 AM

Duo Hua

from Hong Kong

From the headline to the informant's statement to the penultimate paragraph the reader is offered three different slants on the same story . . . the most negative, of course, being the headline that one must read first. Where does RFA place itself on the Trump spectrum of news organizations?

Jan 24, 2017 10:52 PM

Kenny Bennett

from Winchester Va

My hopes that China government will change it's ways with Tibetans and it migrant farmers. The new cities will not thrive with out migrant farmers to fill them. Money and greed is going to be the fall of Governments.

Jan 24, 2017 03:55 AM

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