In a campaign aimed at fostering Tibetan loyalty to Beijing, Chinese authorities this month handed out awards to Tibetan monks and Muslim leaders deemed to have cooperated with Communist Party rule in Sichuan, a source in the region says.
The event, held in early March in Zungchu (in Chinese, Songpan) county in the Ngaba (Aba) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, brought together representatives of several Buddhist monasteries and Muslim communities in Ngaba’s Zungchu and Ngaba counties, a local source told RFA’s Tibetan Service.
“It was held to recognize religious figures and Buddhist monasteries, as well as Islamic teachers, for their efforts to foster friendship and harmony in the community, and to condemn those who did not cooperate,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The award ceremony was presided over by officials from the United Front Works Department and Religious Affairs Bureaus of both counties and followed similar events in neighboring Qinghai province and other Tibetan-populated areas in the region, the source said.
The event in Sichuan was held to applaud those working for “political harmony and unity among the different [ethnic] nationalities,” the source said, adding that “outstanding performers” were presented with certificates and monetary awards.
Tibetan monasteries recognized in the ceremony for their cooperation with Chinese authorities included Muge, Nyenyul Kharlak, Tsotsang, Nateng Chakdu, Gamel, and Drakkar Yungdrung Ritro, the source said.
“Islamic centers and their personnel also attended the event, and some Muslim leaders were recognized at the meeting.”
Monasteries and individuals previously involved in political protests against Chinese policies and rule were meanwhile warned of unspecified “punitive actions,” the source said.
Reported by Lhuboom for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.